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Presented to the 

LIBRARY of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 

by 



ROBERT S. KENNY 




THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 
WOLFE TONE 



/ 



/ 



I * J 



THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

THEOBALD WOLFE TONE 



Abridged & Edited 
by 

SEAN O'FAOLAIN 



THOMAS NELSON & SONS LTD 

LONDON EDINBURGH PARIS MELBOURNE 
TORONTO AND NEW YORK 



All rights reserved 
THOMAS NELSON & SONS LTD. 

35-36 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON, E.C.4 *, PARKSIDB 

WORKS, EDINBURGH J 2$ RUE DENFBRT-ROCHEREAU, 

PARIS ; 312 FLINDERS STREET, MELBOURNE J 

91-93 WELLINGTON STREET WEST, TORONTO ; 

38I-385 FOURTH AVENUE, NEW YORK. 



First published, 1937 




" Wolfe Tone was a most extraordinary man and 
his history is the most curious history of those 
times. With a hundred guineas in his pocket, 
unknown and unrecommended, he went to Paris 
in order to overturn the British Government in 
Ireland. He asked for a large force ; Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald for a small one. They listened to 
Tone. . . ." 

Wellington. 



Letter from Thomas Davis to Wolfe Tone's Widow 

Madam, 

With some such feeling as one brings a little 
gift to an altar, I present you with this book. It is 
a short record of what your dead husband was 
and did, his character, his plans, his patriotism, and 
his martyrdom. When I recollect what unbound- 
ing and unvarying love was between you and him, 
how in his hours of council and peril he thought 
of you as he would of an angel, with what Roman 
firmness and Irish truth you cheered him to those 
sacrifices for Ireland in which you were sacrificed 
too, I feel that you are the only fit guardian of 
this memoir of him who lies in Bodenstown. 
I remain, Madam, 

Your faithful servant, 
Thomas Davis. 



CONTENTS 



Introduction 



Editions 

A Summary of Events 
I. Early Life : 1763-91 . 
II. The Diary of a Mild Conspirator 

III. The Diary of a Less Mild Con- 

spirator 46 

IV. The Conspirator becomes Impatient 59 

70 
75 
78 
90 

100 
120 
140 



V. The Catholics Advance 

VI. The Catholics Retreat 
VII. To America and France 
VIII. Ambassador of Republican Ireland 

IX. Tone sets to work 

X. The Delays begin 

XI. " A Dogs Life " . . . . 
XII. Hoche. The Great Adventure begins 160 

XIII. Preparing for the Voyage to Ireland 175 

XIV. To Bantry Bay 188 

XV. A Quiet Interval 206 

XVI. The Dutch Scheme of Invasion . 230 
vii 



IX 

xxvii 

XXX 

3 
40 



CONTENTS 

XVII. Lewines takes over. Buonaparte . 248 

XVIII. The Rebellion : Last Entries . .271 

XIX. A Letter from Brest . . . .285 

XX. Wolfe Tone's Last Adventure : His 

Son's Account 287 

XXI. The End 300 



vm 



INTRODUCTION 

In the August of 1796 a young gentleman, who 
went by the name of Citizen Smith, was sitting 
in his apartment in Paris writing. With a cautious 
vagueness he headed his paper Paris, added the date, 
and began : 

" As I shall embark on a business, within a few 
days, the event of which is uncertain, I take the 
opportunity of a vacant hour to throw on paper 
a few memorandums relative to myself and my 
family, which may amuse my boys, for whom I 
write them, in case they should hereafter fall in 
their hands. . . ." 



The reference to " within a few days," and the 
" vacant hour " is slightly amusing, though their 
optimism is touching, while one does not well know 
what to feel about the modesty of the reference to 
" a business, the event of which is uncertain." For 
Citizen Smith was planning the invasion of the 
United Kingdom, would continue to plan it for a 
couple of years to come, and would on two occa- 
sions accompany an invading fleet bound for the 
coast of Ireland. 

ix 



WOLFE TONE 



He was in a bad mood that day, and had been 
for a week. He said so emphatically in his diary. 
Since the 2nd August the entries read : 

"Blank. My times drags now most horribly. 
. . . Altogether I am out of humour. . . . Blank. 
Terrible. Terrible. I feel myself absolutely sick 
at those delays. . . . Blank. Damn it. I am 
weary of complaining that I am weary. I will 
not make another memorandum until something 
happens. That's flat." 

That last entry was yesterday, the 6th. To-day, 
being just as blank, conspiratorially speaking, he 
begins, almost from boredom, to write his life- 
story. He writes and writes until he comes to the 
year 1791. There he stops with a reference to his 
diary, " which I then commenced " ; adding that 
it is therefore unnecessary to detail much of what 
subsequently befell him. 

What befell him befell him in his real name of 
Theobald Wolfe Tone, and, like all he had so far 
recounted, befell him in Ireland, and may be read 
in this book. He had loved his country, and loved 
justice, and felt (with good reason) that of the 
legislatures of the world, " beyond all comparison, 
the most shamelessly profligate, and abandoned to 
all sense of virtue, principle, or even common 
decency, was the legislature of my own unfortu- 
nate country." He had felt more than this. He 

x 



INTRODUCTION 



had come to the conclusion that this legislature, 
and those represented in it, the Irish aristocracy, 
half native, half alien, were beyond reform. That 
aristocracy was (his own words) " in possession 
of the whole of the government, and of five-sixths 
of the landed property of the nation ; they were, 
and had been for above a century, in the quiet 
enjoyment of the Church, the law, the revenue, 
the army, the navy, the magistracy, the corpora- 
tions ; in a word, the whole patronage of Ireland. 
With properties whose title was founded on mas- 
sacre and plunder, and being, as it were, but a 
colony of foreign usurpers in the land, they saw 
no security for their persons and estates but in a 
close connection with England, who profited by 
their fears, and, as the price of their protection, 
exacted the implicit surrender of the commerce 
and liberties of Ireland. ..." That being so, the 
conclusion was simple : leave the bough and strike 
at the root. Release from this English influence 
the Dissenters, in whom there was some manliness 
and decency, and the vast Catholic populace, who, 
though two-thirds of the nation, were reduced by 
a " horrible system, pursued for above a century, 
with unrelenting acrimony and perseverance, to a 
situation, morally and physically speaking, below 
that of the beasts of the field." 

So, from that 1791 onward, Tone had been 
probing at the root, and the root did not like it. 
Unhappily, the only hiatus in his autobiography 
xi 



WOLFE TONE 

occurs soon after this date, just when we should 
like to see in what manner he consolidated his ideas. 
His diary, to which he has just referred his readers, 
stops at February 1793 — the portion dealing with 
the next two years is either lost or never existed. 
We have to pass on over the spring of 1794, when 
one Jackson, an agent of the French Committee of 
Public Safety, arrived in Ireland, accompanied by 
a " friend " who proved, later, to be a British spy. 
Jackson was arrested, found guilty of treason, and 
died in the dock, in April 1795, after taking a dose 
of poison, probably arsenic. The whole affair in- 
volved Tone, being recorded by him in a separate 
paper which we possess, and was largely respon- 
sible for his transmogrification into Citizen Smith, 
the Irish conspirator in Paris. 



II 

Having thus got as far as 1791 in his autobiog- 
raphy, and 1793 in his diaries, Citizen Smith 
removed himself from Paris to Rennes, where, 
being still within his " few days " of embarking 
on an " uncertain business," and having another 
" vacant hour," he resumed his record. 

" I hasten to the period," he writes, " when, in 
consequence of the conviction of William Jackson 
for high treason, I was obliged to quit my country 
and go into exile in America." 
xii 



INTRODUCTION 

His record then proceeds to cover events from that 
date to the February of the next year, 1796, when 
" we landed in safety in Havre de Grace," and here 
he closes his consecutive account by a final refer- 
ence to his diaries, which form the bulk of this book, 
and of which he says truthfully, that he kept them 
regularly since his arrival in France. They are the 
record of endless plannings and plottings ; the end- 
less, tortuous, heart-breaking, pertinacious plot- 
tings of the refugee-conspirator of a small nation 
in the great capital of a great nation ; at a period of 
revolution and unrest ; a period when kingdoms 
were being made, and there was no reason why 
kingdoms should not be undone ; but a period, 
too, when fine phrases were being crossed by new 
ambitions, and the life of a man like Tone, and the 
fate of a little country like Ireland, became no more 
than counters on the gaming-tables of the great. 
As such, these diaries could not but be interesting ; 
but they happen, in addition, to be written by a 
man whose diaries would be interesting, amusing, 
emotive if he lived the life of a grocer's assistant, 
never known such people as Grouchy, or Tom 
Paine, or Carnot, or Buonaparte, or never twice 
invaded the British Isles. 

We may glance at them while this remarkable 
young man puts on his hat and sword and goes 
strolling down the streets of Rennes, humming his 
tunes, cursing under his breath at these endlessly 
" vacant hours," tliinking of his adored wife and 
xiii 



WOLFE TONE 

his " little darlings " whom he may never see 
again. . . . We have plenty of time to glance at 
his papers. Those " few days " extend themselves 
by weeks and months to the following December 
(1796), when he finally set out with a French fleet 
under Hoche for Bantry Bay. We may also be 
done with Citizen Smith. After Bantry, Wolfe 
Tone became a marked man, well known, warmly 
— very warmly ! — spoken of by the Irish and the 
English public. He became, in brief, a piece of 
history. Even as, in time, his autobiography has 
come to be acknowledged for its literary quality, 
its good humour, its equanimity, and its intrinsic 
interest, one of the most interesting personal 
documents in Irish literature. 



Ill 



He spoke of his diaries as being " fully detailed." 
They are. That year, 1796, was, as he says, " a 
very remarkable one in my history/ * He had 
landed in France on February 1st ; he was to set 
sail for Ireland in December, and to be back again 
on French soil exactly on January 1, 1797. To 
this one year he devotes about 125,000 words, 
about the length of two modern novels. To the 
next year, when he was again planning an invasion 
(he saw a Dutch expedition take the seas under De 
Winter — it was defeated at Camperdown), he de- 
xiv 



INTRODUCTION 

votes less space : about 45,000 words. To what 
he lived to see of 1798 he devotes proportionately- 
less ; in fact, his diaries break off some three months 
before he sailed from France, in September, on the 
third, final, and fatal expedition, as if even his 
tenacious spirit was at last becoming weary of the 
struggle. (See the entry for May 26, 1798.) That 
expedition reached Lough Swilly, in Donegal, in 
October. After a sea fight the defeated were 
brought to land in ships' boats. Characteristi- 
cally, the first man to step proudly ashore was 
Wolfe Tone. He was sent in irons to Dublin. 
He died there, after cutting his throat in his cell, 
on November 19, 1798. 

So it is mainly those diaries for his last three years 
that form the bulk of his story. The only personal 
record of the last four and a half months is his fare- 
well letter to his wife. 



IV 



What despairs, hopes, need for repeated efforts 
and new beginnings, those years held for Tone may 
be fully realized only by wading as patiendy through 
the fullness of his very detailed memoirs, as Tone 
himself waded through the trying and, often, vacant 
days they record. But, that very important element 
of his pertinacity aside, there is no need in the least 
to read the entire autobiography to get at the essen- 
xv 



WOLFE TONE 

tial man ; while, on other scores — such as his more 
human frailties and his more charming virtues — his 
nature is too repetitiously evident throughout the 
diaries, and too much of the entries are, in any case, 
purely in the way of memoranda, to make a com- 
plete edition necessary to anybody but the scholar 
or the devotee. Besides, he put so much of the 
vigour of his pertinacity, and of the equable quali- 
ties of his nature that fed it, and of the resilience 
and buoyancy of his good temper that renewed it, 
into everything he did and recorded, that, even on 
that fundamental score, an abridgement of the 
material need not be felt as an abridgement of the 
man : Tone's character, though various, is com- 
pact and intensive, with all the variations occurring, 
as it were, within narrow time-brackets. 

On the other hand — as happens so often with 
famous but lengthy books — more readers are likely 
to have been deterred by the size of the complete 
autobiography than have ever read it to its end. 
For that reason I have prepared this abridged edition, 
hoping that it will have the effect of causing him 
to be read, for the first time, consecutively, by the 
large public he deserves. 

Those, then, who would like to read in Tone's 
own words as full an account of his life as is 
necessary for a proper appreciation of the man 
will, it is hoped, find it henceforth in this 
book. 



(4,409) ^ 



INTRODUCTION 



V 



If Tone did not, in his lifetime, achieve greatly, 
he started much. Without him Republicanism in 
Ireland would virtually have no tradition ; for, 
though he was not the only Republican Ireland 
produced, he was the first, and he was the only one 
who had the touch of greatness. It is one sign of 
this that those three vain expeditions of his — he was 
the direct means of sending them to Ireland — still 
live in the folk-memory, have left their mark on 
the very place-names of the countryside, and are 
for ever associated with his purposes. Without 
him, indeed, it is hard to know what that century 
would have lent to the Irish National tradition. 
The United Irishmen — a vague body without some 
man to personify them ; the romantic figure of 
Lord Edward ; the rising of '98 ; Emmet's speech 
from the dock — these, also, would have been re- 
membered, but they would have fostered only a 
vague idealism, and it would have been an easy 
matter for any subsequent political party to obfus- 
cate their meaning. That was, indeed, attempted, 
but only through a process of eliminating Tone, 
by the old constitutional Irish Party. Tone, how- 
ever, is not easy to eliminate ; and if there hangs 
about him none of the easy romanticism of Emmet 
or Lord Edward, he gets the reward of his hardy 
realism by being remembered with greater clarity. 

(4,409) xv ii 2 



WOLFE TONE 



More than that, the greater vigour of his personality 
folds these lesser men under his wing, so that they 
are remembered and defined by him. What these 
revolutionaries owe to him, in this way, may be 
guessed by thinking how much, had there been no 
Tone, their century would have become, in popular 
memory, O'ConnelTs century ; and by thinking 
how it would then have fed, only, into the tradition 
O'Connell set under way — a tradition containing 
many fine elements : Liberal, possibly monarchist 
but undoubtedly snobbish, faintly Radical, thor- 
oughly parliamentarian — which was overthrown in 
our time by men delighted to find in Tone a figure 
and a symbol great enough to face any comparison. 
What, on another count, would have happened 
both Tone and century if his autobiography had 
been captured by and suppressed by the British 
Government ? The indisputable answer to that 
question emphasizes both the unique quality of the 
man and of his book. For though he would, 
without doubt, have been remembered and revered 
— and those three expeditions might indeed have 
assumed a still greater glory by the very mystery 
attaching to his name ; and though his impact on 
the popular imagination might have become, 
thereby, even more powerful than it is — yet, it 
would all have been the impact, not of a real man, 
but of a vague figure, since, without the diaries, 
no historian could have hoped to transmit much of 
his peculiarly original flavour. He would have 
xviii 



INTRODUCTION 

come down to us wrapped in the romantic atmos- 
phere which has melted Emmet, Lord Edward, 
Smith O'Brien, John O'Leary, even so recent a 
figure as Pearse, into graceful falsities. That would 
have been a truly wretched fate for Tone, most 
human and humorous and unromantic of men, 
to shimmer through the sentimental dimness into 
which piety wraps the great — especially the ora- 
torical great. 

From that fate he is saved by his diaries. His 
drinking, his temper, his realism, his flute-playing, 
his flirtations, his extravagant protestations, his 
indiscreet tongue, his utter lack of false dignity, 
are precisely the things that help us to understand 
him. They make us feel that he was sincere, that 
revolution to him was a serious matter and not a 
form of self-dramatization or emotional escape. 
These pleasantly human qualities and frailties make 
us feel that humanity is safe in his hands, and would 
have been safe in his hands had he lived to be the 
first President of an Irish Republic. We felt much 
the same about Michael Collins, whose gaiety, 
impetuosity, masculinity also rejects every at- 
tempt to turn him into a plaster martyr. By that 
humanity, revealed in every page of his diaries, 
the truth of what Tone was, and of what he stood 
for, is preserved intact, when, without the diaries, 
it might not be seen at all. His personality, the 
man himself, is a definition of Irish Republicanism. 
It is the only sensible definition that exists. 
xix 



WOLFE TONE 

The diaries have, however, done one slight dis- 
service to Tone. They have deprived him of the 
romantic Irishman's final mark of respect — he has 
no statue. So, a while ago, what money was col- 
lected for Tone's centenary in 1898 was to have 
been spent, at last, on a park gate ! And the gate 
was to have been opened without ceremony, if 
not after dark ! And the gate was to be just out- 
side the city ! And no member of the big political 
parties was to be asked to compromise himself by 
attending officially. . . . Just as, earlier, Dublin 
did lay a slab in the roadway at Stephen's Green 
to mark the site of the proposed centenary monu- 
ment. It lay there for about thirty years. Then 
the Board of Works took it up in the middle of 
the night ! 

We can guess what Tone would have thought 
of all that. He would have entered : " Huzza ! 
Huzza ! No statue. P. P., drunk as usual, swears 
he will give up smuggling. Mr. Hutton greatly pleased. 
Gog, Magog, P. P., the Draper, the Pismire, the Hypo- 
crite, and all the rest of them are afraid of bug-a-boos. 
God save great George, our King ! Sad ! Sad ! 
All hollow. Waddel is a / " 

There are two things not to be ignored : the 
growing seriousness of Tone's nature — the deepen- 
ing of his mind, the sharpening of his judgment 
(" I was a greenhorn," he writes after a year in 
Paris) — and the sceptical turn of his thought. The 
latter shows itself readily in his attitude, or lack 
xx 



INTRODUCTION 

of attitude, to religion, but also in a score of places 
in his half-bitter comments on men and affairs, 
as when he says of Buonaparte in '98 that " he is 
probably taking a short-cut to England by way of 
Calcutta/' The two things merge, and are softened 
in his humour as well as in his gathering gloom. 

Always romantic to us, he was never romantic 
to himself, and he kicks romance out the door, at 
the end. 



VI 



Tone's opening chapters explain themselves, and 
little further explanation is required ; unless, since 
his life centred around the Society of the United 
Irishmen, it may be worth reminding readers 
that this society began in Belfast around 1791 as a 
constitutional club whose aim was the reform of 
the Irish legislature, a reform to be secured — I 
quote from the members' pledge — by " the attain- 
ment of an adequate and impartial representation 
of the Irish nation in Parliament " ; the means to 
this end being " a brotherhood of affection, an 
identity of interests, a communion of rights, and 
an union of power," achieved through a number of 
clubs throughout the country using the usual other 
methods of peaceful persuasion. Not all the mem- 
bers, however, were so peacefully inclined, and 
within three or four years the idea of reform gave 
xxi 



WOLFE TONE 

way to the idea of revolution and republicanism. 
The progress of this change may be observed, in 
Tone's record, in such details as a dinner where the 
flags of America, Poland, France, and Ireland are 
displayed — " but no England " ; in the havering 
with the definitely aggressive and unconstitutional 
Protestant and Catholic societies, The Peep-o'-Day 
Boys, and The Defenders — the former of which 
became later The Orange Boys, and the latter 
United Irishmen ; in the adoption for the military 
corps attached to the United Irishmen of the cos- 
tumes of the Garde Nationale ; in the deliberate 
insult to the Irish administration of appealing on 
behalf of the Catholics direct to the King ; or in 
such seditious conversations as those recorded under 
October 26, 1 791, or November 20, 1792. By 1794 
the United Irishmen were being reorganized on a 
thoroughly rebellious basis, and the hiatus in Tone's 
record, which I have already mentioned, is the 
more to be regretted in that it occurs at this 
point. 

The other body with which Tone was connected 
was the Catholic Committee, founded in Dublin 
around 1760, to plead the cause of the oppressed 
Catholics. As long as it was supported by the 
Catholic aristocracy it was much too pliable, and 
timid, to be effective. It made no impress on 
public opinion until John Keogh, a Dublin mer- 
chant, gave it a democratic character. He co-oper- 
ated with the United Irishmen and Tone as long 
xxii 



INTRODUCTION 

as he dared ; and thanks largely to Tone that 
timid Committee won in '93 the first real Catholic 
Relief Bill, a measure that Lecky considers infinitely 
more important than O'Connell's Emancipation of 
1829. Tone worked with these men as assistant- 
secretary, until his exile ; but even after that, in 
France, he was recommending them (see July 27, 
1796) to the Executive Directory as the basis 
of a national legislature should his plans succeed. 
That, to those who may be unfamiliar with Tone's 
ideas, is informative. Though not a Catholic, and 
though representing the United Irishmen, a body 
originating in non-Catholic Belfast, it never even 
occurred to him that the basis of a National Parlia- 
ment could be anything but Catholic, and popular. 
The only other thing necessary to know is the 
key to Tone's pseudonyms for his friends and 
associates. The chief of these were his colleagues 
who founded, and were active in spreading, the 
Society of United Irishmen. They were Thomas 
Russell, his bosom friend, who was hanged in 
1803, and whom he nicknamed P. P. Clerk of this 
Parish ; Sam Neilson, founder of the Society and 
of its organ The Northern Star, whom he called The 
Jacobin ; Simms, The Tanner ; William Sinclair, 
The Draper ; Thomas Macabe, The Irish Slave ; 
Whidey Stokes, the Trinity College scholar, one 
of Tone's early friends, The Keeper (of the College 
Zoo) ; Thomas Addis Emmet, The Pismire ; 
and James Napper Tandy, the oldest member of 
xxiii 



WOLFE TONE 

the group and one of the more prominent members 
of Grattan's Volunteers in 1782, The Tribune. 
Then come three men active in the Catholic Com- 
mittee. The ablest of them all was John Keogh, 
whom he called Gog. Then came McCormick, 
the secretary to the Committee, whom he called 
Magog ; and Edward Byrne, the Chairman, whom 
he called The Vintner. The city of Belfast is 
throughout Blefescu, and he himself is Mr. Hutton. 
They are names, all of them, invented in a spirit 
of raillery and affection, with, at most, a faint smile 
of occasional sarcasm. One may, for instance, turn 
to the entry of January 1, 1793, to see Tone's 
attitude to the last three. However, he had no 
delusions about any of his friends, and the greatest 
attraction of his autobiography is in these quite 
effortless characterizations that emerge from his 
commentaries, and that make his book not merely 
a fine self-portrait by a young revolutionary but 
a gallery of portraits of other entirely admirable 
men whose comic side the young rebel never 
failed to see. That was partly because he loved 
them so much that he could afford to laugh at them, 
even in their most solemn moments ; partly be- 
cause he was a born realist with powerful emotions 
who had found that the best companion for a high 
heart is a merry wit. Even his vivid pen-pictures 
of the French revolutionary leaders are not, as his 
experience grows, without an occasional touch of 
malice ; the result is that he constantly throws 
xxiv 



INTRODUCTION 

revealing side-lights on the Paris and France of the 
Revolution and the Directory. 

In truth Tone was simply a brave, unassuming 
man who was merry because he needed great re- 
serves. Lord Edward could wear the high buskin, 
and so could Emmet, because, for them, the road 
between beginning and end was brief. Tone, with 
his flute in his pocket, and a laugh always up his 
sleeve, was a hero with slippers — because the road, 
for him much longer and more arduous, brought 
him many a night to rest in his inn. 

He was the sort of man who must have dreamed 
as often of the gaiety as of the comfort he could 
bring to Ireland should his plans succeed. If, in that 
sense, his personality is, indeed, a definition of his 
ideas, and if it were these ideas that persisted with 
his tradition, there could be few Irishmen to-day 
who would not be republican with him. 

Sean O'Faolain. 



xxv 



EDITIONS 

Tone's original notebooks, which contain his auto- 
biography, are in the library of Trinity College, 
Dublin. In the National Museum, Dublin, one 
may also see his pocket-book, which he bequeathed 
the night he died to John Sweetman. 

His son edited his papers, and the Life was pub- 
lished in two volumes in Washington in 1826. 
These volumes are comparatively rare ; they sell 
at about two guineas to-day. They contain the 
diaries, letters, and political essays of Tone ; an ac- 
count of Tone's family ; Madame Tone's interview 
with Napoleon, etc. ; the son's account of the last 
expedition and trial — from which the excerpt printed 
in this edition is taken. A later edition by Barry 
O'Brien, entitled The Autobiography of Wolfe Tone, 
omitted the letters, the political essays (as being 
" of little interest or importance now "), the account 
of Tone's family after his death, and some minor 
material ; this edition has appeared in more than 
one format and is easily procurable. There is 
also a French edition of the Autobiography with 
the title Memoires secrets de Wolfe Tone. (Paris, 
1888.) 

xxvii 



WOLFE TONE 

O'Brien follows William Tone comma for 
comma ; and it may be recorded that the son is 
not absolutely accurate, as I have found on collating 
his edition with the manuscripts. Generally, how- 
ever, I have found it easier to follow him, as I 
have found him astray only in quite minor details 
of word and phrasing. 

The chief profit of the collating has been that 
I have been able to replace, for the first time, some 
interesting passages suppressed by the son : namely, 
Tone's accounts of his early amours ; his con- 
temptuous references to his brother-in-law ; his 
account of the final rupture with his wife's family ; 
and his scornful remarks on Americans. The son 
suppressed the first because he thought it would 
be ungentlemanly to publish such frank confessions 
— his mother was still alive ; the second, probably 
out of deference to his uncle ; and it must be 
remembered that he was a guest of America when 
he published the Life. I feel that the added pre- 
cision given to Tone's character by this new 
material justifies its publication at this date. I have 
drawn attention to the chief additions in the foot- 
notes. 

The chapter divisions and titles and the running 
headlines are my own additions. 

I am much indebted to a scholarly friend who 

prefers not to be mentioned by name. He has 

checked the proofs and given me several interesting 

pieces of information which I have been enabled 

xxviii 



EDITIONS 

by his kindness to incorporate in the footnotes, 
which are otherwise my own. 

I am also indebted to the kindness of the officials 
of Trinity College, Dublin, for permission to 
examine the original manuscripts of the Journal 
and Notebooks, and for the photograph of FarrelTs 
bust of Tone which stands in the Long Room, 
bequeathed to the College in 1925 by Miss Kather- 
ine Maxwell, a granddaughter of Tone, together 
with a death-mask and the original manuscript 
notebooks. 

S. O'F. 



XXIX 



A SUMMARY OF EVENTS 

1760 Death of George II. 
1763 June 20th. Theobald Wolfe Tone born. 
1770 Wordsworth born. 
1775 War of American Independence begins. 

Daniel O'Connell born. Volunteer movement 
begins. 

1778 Death of Voltaire and Rousseau. 

1779 Volunteers demand Free Trade. Tom Moore born. 
178 1 February. Enters Trinity College, Dublin. 

1782 Legislative Independence granted. Repeal of 

" Sixth of George J." and Poynings Law. 

1783 Treaty of Versailles acknowledges American 

Independence. 
Ministry of Pitt begins. (Tories in power to 1830.) 

1784 Death of Eoghan Ruadh O'Suileabhain. 

1785 Meets Miss Witherington and marries her. 

1786 Commences study for B.A. First child 

born. Retires to Clane. 

1787 Enters Middle Temple, London. 

1788 Returns to Ireland. 

1788 Byron born. 

1789 Commences Barrister-at-Law. First Circuit. 

1789 The French Revolution. 

Charlotte Brookes publishes Reliques of Irish 
Poetry. 

1790 First Political Pamphlet. Meets Russell. 

Forms a Political Club. 

1791 Second child born : Matthew. Meets the 

Belfast Volunteers and founds United 
Irishmen. Meets the Catholics. 
1 791 October. Society of United Irishmen founded. 

XXX 



A SUMMARY OF EVENTS 

1792 Third child born. Becomes Assistant Secre- 
tary to Catholic Committee. 

1792 The " September Massacres " in Paris. France 

declared a Republic. 

1793 First Catholic Emancipation Act. LARGELY DUE 

TO TONE. A memorable date for the new 
Irish Democracy. War declared on France. 

1794 The Jackson affair. 

1794 United Irishmen suppressed. 

1795 August. Arrives at Washington. 

1795 The Directory formed. 

1796 February 2nd. Lands in France. 
December 16th. Sails for Bantry Bay. 

1797 January 1st. Arrives back in France. 
May. Rejoins his family. 

June to September. In Holland for the 
Dutch expedition. 

1798 September. Sails for Ireland on the Hoche. 
October nth. Arrested. 

November 10th. Tried. 
November 19th. Dies. 

1798 May. Napoleon takes Malta. 

May. Irish Rebellion breaks out. Daniel O'Con- 
nell called to the Bar and joins the yeomanry. 

1799 Napoleon overthrows the Directory and becomes 

First Consul. 
1 801 Union of Great Britain and Ireland. 
1804 First child dies. 
1806 Third child dies. 

1807 " Gaelic Society of Dublin " founded. 
18 1 5 Mrs. Tone marries Wilson. 
1820 Death of George III. 
1829 Catholic Emancipation. 
xxxi 



THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 
THEOBALD WOLFE TONE 



THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 
THEOBALD WOLFE TONE 

i 

EARLY LIFE 

paris, August 7, 1796. 

AS I shall embark in a business, within a few 
-£*■ days, the event of which is uncertain, I take 
the opportunity of a vacant hour to throw on 
paper a few memorandums relative to myself and 
my family, which may amuse my boys, for whom 
I write them, in case they should hereafter fall into 
their hands. 

I was born in the city of Dublin, on the 20th of 
June, 1763. My grandfather was a respectable 
farmer near Naas, in the county of Kildare. Being 
killed by a fall off a stack of his own corn, in the 
year 1766, his property, being freehold leases, de- 
scended to my father, his eldest son, who was, at 
that time, in successful business as a coachmaker. 
He set, in consequence, the lands which came thus 

3 



EARLY LIFE [1763-72 

into his possession to his youngest brother, which, 
eventually, was the cause of much litigation be- 
tween them, and ended in a decree of the Court of 
Chancery, that utterly ruined my father. My 
mother, whose name was Lamport, was the 
daughter of a captain of a vessel in the West 
India trade, who, by many anecdotes which she 
told me of him, was a great original. 

I was their eldest son ; but, before I come to my 
history, I must say a few words of my brothers. 
William, who was born in August, 1764, was 
intended for business, and was, in consequence, 
bound apprentice, at the age of fourteen, to an 
eminent bookseller. With him he read over 
all the voyages he could find, with which, and 
some military history, he heated an imagination 
naturally warm and enthusiastic, so much that, at 
the age of sixteen, he ran off to London, and entered, 
as a volunteer, in the East India Company's service. 

My brother Matthew, like Will, is something of 
a poet, and has written some trifles, in the burlesque 
style, that are not ill done. He is a brave lad, and 
I love him most sincerely. His age, at the time I 
write this, is about twenty-six or twenty-seven years. 
Matthew is a sincere and ardent republican, and 
capable, as I think, of sacrificing everything to his 
principles. 

My third brother, Arthur, is much younger than 
any of us, being born about the year 1782 ; of course 
he is now fourteen years of age. If I can judge, 

4 



1763-72] FAMILY SKETCHES 

when he grows up, he will resemble William exactly 
in mind and person. He is a fine, smart boy, as 
idle as possible (which we have all been, without 
exception), with very quick parts, and as stout as a 
lion. 

My sister, whose name is Mary, is a fine young 
woman; she has all the peculiarity of our disposition, 
with all the delicacy of her own sex. If she were 
a man, she would be exactly like one of us, and, as 
it is, being brought up amongst boys, for we never 
had but one more sister, who died a child, she has 
contracted a masculine habit of thinking, without, 
however, in any degree, derogating from that 
feminine softness of manner which is suited to her 
sex and age. When I was driven into exile in 
America, as I shall relate hereafter, she determined 
to share my fortunes, and, in consequence, she also, 
like the rest of us, has made her voyage across the 
Adantic. 

My father and mother were pretty much like 
other people ; but, from this short sketch, with 
what I have to add concerning myself, I think it 
will appear that their children were not at all like 
other people, but have had, every one of them, a 
wild spirit of adventure, which, though sometimes 
found in an individual, rarely pervades a whole 
family, including even the females. For my brother 
William has visited Europe, Asia, and Africa before 
he was thirty years of age ; Matthew has been in 
America twice, in the West Indies once, not to 



EARLY LIFE [1772-81 

mention several trips to England, and his voyage 
and imprisonment in France, and all this before he 
was twenty-seven. Arthur, at the age of fourteen, 
has been once in England, twice in Portugal, and 
has twice crossed the Atlantic, going to and re- 
turning from America. My sister Mary crossed 
the same ocean, and I hope will soon do the same 
on her return. I do not here speak of my wife 
and our little boys and girl, the eldest of whom 
was about eight, and the youngest two years old 
when we sailed for America. And, by all I can 
see, it is by no means certain that our voyages are 
yet entirely finished. 

I come now to myself. I was, as I have said, the 
eldest child of my parents, and a very great favourite. 
I was sent, at the age of eight or nine, to an excellent 
English school, kept by Sisson Darling, a man to 
whose kindness and affection I was much indebted, 
and who took more than common pains with me. 
I respect him yet. I was very idle, and it was only 
the fear of shame which could induce me to exer- 
tion. 

It was determined that I should be a Fellow of 
Dublin College. I was taken from Mr. Darling, 
from whom I parted with regret, and placed, about 
the age of twelve, under the care of the Rev. Wm. 
Craig, a man very different, in all respects, from my 
late preceptor. 

About this time, whether unluckily for me or not, 
the future colour of my life must determine, my 

6 



1772-81] AN IDLE FELLOW 

father, meeting with an accident of a fall downstairs, 
by which he was dreadfully wounded in the head, 
so that he narrowly escaped with life, found, on his 
recovery, his affairs so deranged in all respects, that 
he determined on quitting business and retiring to 
the country, a resolution which he executed accord- 
ingly, settling with all his creditors, and placing 
me with a friend near the school, whom he paid 
for my diet and lodging, besides allowing me a 
trifling sum for my pocket. In this manner I 
became, I may say, my own master, before I was 
sixteen ; and as, at this time, I am not remarkable 
for my discretion, it may well be judged I was less 
so then. 

I must do myself and my school-fellows the 
justice to say, that, though we were abominably 
idle, we were not vicious ; our amusements con- 
sisted in walking to the country, in swimming 
parties in the sea, and, particularly, in attending all 
parades, field days, and reviews of the garrison of 
Dublin in the Phoenix Park. I mention this par- 
ticularly, because, independent of confirming me in 
a rooted habit of idleness, which I lament most 
exceedingly, I trace to the splendid appearance of 
the troops, and the pomp and parade of military 
show, the untamable desire which I ever since have 
had to become a soldier, a desire which has never 
once quit me, and which after sixteen years of 
various adventures, I am at last at liberty to indulge. 
Being, at this time, approaching to seventeen years 

7 



EARLY LIFE [1781-86 

of age, it will not be thought incredible that woman 
began to appear lovely in my eyes, and I very wisely 
thought that a red coat and cockade, with a pair of 
gold epaulets, would aid me considerably in my 
approaches to the objects of my adoration. 

This, combined with the reasons above mentioned, 
decided me. I began to look on classical learning 
as nonsense ; on a Fellowship in Dublin College as 
a pitiful establishment ; and, in short, I thought an 
ensign in a marching regiment was the happiest 
creature living. The hour when I was to enter the 
University, which now approached, I looked for- 
ward to with horror and disgust. I absented myself 
more and more from school, to which I preferred 
attending the recruits on drill at the barracks. So 
that at length my schoolmaster, who apprehended 
I should be found insufficient at the examination 
for entering the college, and that he, of consequence, 
would come in for his share of the disgrace, thought 
proper to do what he should have done at least 
three years before, and wrote my father a full 
account of my proceedings. This immediately 
produced a violent dispute between us, I 
declared my passion for the army, and my utter 
dislike to a learned profession ; but my father was 
as obstinate as I, and as he utterly refused to give 
me any assistance to forward my scheme, I had no 
resource but to submit or to follow my brother 
William's example, which I was too proud to do. 
In consequence, I sat down again, with a very bad 

8 



1781-86] AMOURS 

grace, to pull up my lost time ; and, at length, after 
labouring for some time, sorely against the grain, 
I entered a pensioner of Trinity College, in February, 
1 78 1 ; being then not quite eighteen years of age ; 
my tutor was the Rev. Matthew Young, the most 
popular in the University, and one of the first 
mathematicians in Europe. 

During my progress through the University, I 
was not without adventures. Towards the latter 
end of the year 1782, 1 went out as second to a young 
fellow of my acquaintance, of the name of Foster, 
who fought with another lad, also of my acquaint- 
ance, named Anderson, and had the misfortune to 
shoot him through the head. The second to 
Anderson was William Armstrong, my most 
particular friend, who is now a very respectable 
clergyman, and settled at Dungannon. As Ander- 
son's friends were outrageous against Foster and me, 
we were obliged at first to withdraw ourselves, but 
after some time their passion abated, and I returned 
to college, whence this adventure was near driving 
me a second time and for ever. Foster stood his 
trial and was acquitted ; against me there was no 
prosecution. In this unfortunate business the eldest 
of us was not more than twenty years of age. 

After one or two fugitive passions about the 
beginning of the year 1783 I fell in love with a 
woman who made me miserable for more than 
two years. She was the wife of Richard Martin 
of Galway, a member of Parliament, and a man 

9 



EARLY LIFE [1781-86 

of considerable fortune in that county. Martin 
was passionately fond of acting and had fitted up 
a theatre in which he had several dramatic repre- 
sentations. Mrs. Martin, independent of a thousand 
other attractions, was one of the first actresses I 
ever saw, and as I lived in the house with her, and 
being myself somewhat of an actor, was daily 
thrown into particular situations with her, both in 
rehearsals and on the stage, and as I had an imagina- 
tion easily warmed, without one grain of discretion 
to regulate it, I very soon became in love to a 
degree almost inconceivable. I have never, never 
met in history, poetry, or romance a description 
that comes near what I actually suffered on her 
account. For two years our acquaintance continued, 
in which time I made three visits to her house of 
four or five months each. As I was utterly unable, 
and indeed unwilling, to conceal my passion from 
her, she very soon detected me, and as I preserved, 
as well as felt, the profoundest respect for her, she 
supposed she might amuse herself innocently in 
observing the progress of this terrible passion in 
the mind of an interesting young man of twenty ; 
but this is an experiment no woman ought to make. 
As Martin neglected her a good deal, and as I was 
continually on the spot, she could not avoid making 
daily comparisons between our behaviour towards 
her, and not at all to the advantage of her husband ; 
in short, without any art on my side, for I was 
too sincerely in love to be capable of it, I invisibly 

10 



1781-86] AN IRATE HUSBAND 

engaged her affections, so that at length she 
became at least as much in love with me as I 
was with her, nor did she attempt to conceal it 
from me. 

I was the proudest man alive to have engaged 
the affections of a woman whom even now I 
recognize to have had extraordinary merit, and 
who then appeared in my eyes more divine than 
human. In this intercourse of sentiment which 
alternately pained and delighted me almost beyond 
bearing, we continued for about two years, keeping 
up a regular correspondence by letters in the 
intervals of my absence, without, however, in a 
single instance overstepping the bounds of virtue, 
such was the purity of the extravagant affection I 
bore her. At length a quarrel took place between 
Martin and me. He wanted me to swear an 
affidavit against two ruffians who had broken into 
his apartment, armed with pistols, and arrested 
[? — the word is not clear in the MS.] him in my 
presence. This I considered derogatory to my 
character, and in consequence I refused ; a smart 
altercation by letter ensued, in which he tried 
every means, not excepting pretty direct menaces 
(as he was a famous duellist), to bind me to his 
purpose. But tho* I was very young, tho* I adored 
his wife beyond all human beings, and knew well 
that my refusal was in effect a sentence of banish- 
ment from her presence for ever, I had the courage 
to persist in my refusal. In consequence I wrote 
ii 



EARLY LIFE [1781-86 

Martin a peremptory letter which finished our 
correspondence, and sealed, as I expected, our 
separation for ever. And thus at the age of twenty 
I sacrificed a passion of the most extravagant 
violence to what I considered my duty as a man 
of honour ; an effort which cost me then, very, 
very dear, and for which I now applaud my 
resolution. I have never seen Mrs. Martin since. 

As I am on this subject, tho' it makes no part 
of my history, I think right to insert that eight or 
nine years after, Martin and his wife being in 
Paris, and he treating her with his usual neglect, 
she formed a connection with an Englishman of 
the name of Petrie, with whom at length she 
eloped. Martin brought an action against Petrie 
in Westminster Hall and recovered £10,000 
damages. In this business I am satisfied from my 
own observation and knowledge of the characters 
of both parties during my residence for many 
months in their family, that the fault was originally 
Martin's. Nevertheless it opened my eyes on many 
little circumstances that had passed between her 
and me, and perhaps (as I now think) had my 
passion for her been less pure, it might have been 
not less agreeable. But the truth is I loved her 
with an affection of a seraphic nature ; the pro- 
found respect I bore her, and my ignorance of 
the world, prevented my availing myself of op- 
portunities which a man more trained than I was 
would not have let slip. 

12 



1781-86] IN LOVE 

And now at this distance of time I review the 
affair coolly [about ten words blotted out], I cannot 
regret that my inexperience prevented me from 
wronging a man to whom I was indebted for many 
civilities, or from profiting, as I might have done, 
by the affections of a woman, that time un- 
doubtedly virtuous, whom I adored as a deity, 
and who, I am sure, returned my affections with 
an ardour equal to my own. But if I suffered, as 
I did most severely, by this unfortunate passion, 
I also reaped some benefit from it. The desire to 
render myself agreeable to a woman of elegant 
manners, and a mind highly cultivated, induced 
me to attend to a thousand little things, and to 
endeavour to polish myself in a certain degree, 
so that after the first transports of rage and grief 
at her loss had subsided, I considered myself as 
on the whole considerably improved. As no 
human passion is proof against time and absence, 
in a few months I recovered my tranquillity.* 

At length, about the beginning of the year 1785, 1 
became acquainted with my wife. She was the 
daughter of William Witherington, and lived, at 
that time, in Grafton Street, in the house of her 
grandfather, a rich old clergyman of the name of 
Fanning. I was then a scholar of the house in the 
University, and every day, after commons, I used 

* It is interesting to note that the chief aid to tranquillity was 
Miss Witherington, whom Tone met just at this time or a 
trifle earlier. This account is suppressed by the son. 

13 



EARLY LIFE [1781-86 

to walk under her windows with one or the other 
of my fellow students ; I soon grew passionately 
fond of her, and she also was struck with me, though 
certainly my appearance, neither then nor now, was 
much in my favour ; so it was, however, that, 
before we had ever spoken to each other, a mutual 
affection had commenced between us. She was, 
at this time, not sixteen years of age, and as beautiful 
as an angel. She had a brother some years older 
than herself, a most egregious coxcomb * ; never- 
theless, as it was necessary for my admission to 
the family that I should be first acquainted with 
him, I soon contrived to be introduced to him, 
and as he played well on the violin (his only talent), 
and I was myself a musical man, we grew intimate, 
the more so as it may well be supposed I neglected 
no fair means to recommend myself to him and 
the rest of the family, with whom I soon grew a 
favourite. My affairs now advanced prosperously ; 
my wife and I grew more passionately fond of 
each other ; and, in a short time, I proposed to 
her to marry me, without asking consent of any 
one, knowing well it would be in vain to expect 
it ; she accepted the proposal as frankly as I made 
it, and one beautiful morning in the month of 
July we ran off together and were married. I 
carried her out of town to Maynooth for a few 
days, and when the first eclat of passion had sub- 

*A11 Tone's contemptuous references to the brother are 
suppressed by his son. 

14 



1786-87] MARRIED HAPPINESS 

sided, we were forgiven on all sides, and settled 
in lodgings near my wife's grandfather. 

I was now, for a very short time, as happy as 
possible, in the possession of a beautiful creature 
that I adored, and who every hour grew more and 
more upon my heart. The scheme of a Fellow- 
ship, which I never relished, was now abandoned, 
and it was determined that, when I had taken my 
degree of Bachelor of Arts, I should go to the 
Temple, study the law, and be called to the Bar. 

The tranquil and happy life I spent, for a short 
period after my marriage, was too good to last. 
My wife's brother, jealous of the affection which 
her grandfather bore her and of the esteem he 
was beginning to entertain for me, notwithstand- 
ing my irregular introduction into the family, 
contrived by a thousand indirect means to sow 
feuds and dissensions between us, and at length 
succeeded so far that we were obliged to break 
off all connection with my wife's family, who 
began to treat us with all possible slight and dis- 
respect. We removed, in consequence, to my 
father's, who then resided near Clane, in the county 
of Kildare, and whose circumstances could, at 
that time, but ill bear such an addition to his 
family. It is doing him, however, but justice to 
mention, that he received and treated us with 
the greatest affection and kindness, and, as far 
as he was able, endeavoured to make us forget 
the grievous mortifications we had undergone. 

15 



EARLY LIFE [1786-87 

After an interval of a few months, my wife was 
brought to bed of a girl, a circumstance which, if 
possible, increased my love for her a thousandfold ; 
but our tranquillity was again broken in upon by a 
most terrible event. On the 16th October, 1786, 
the house was broken open by a gang of robbers, 
to the number of six, armed with pistols, and hav- 
ing their faces blacked. Having tied the whole 
family, they proceeded to plunder and demolish 
every article they could find, even to the unprof- 
itable villainy of breaking the china, looking- 
glasses, etc. At length, after two hours, a maid- 
servant, whom they had tied negligently, having 
made her escape, they took the alarm, and fled with 
precipitation, leaving the house such a scene of 
horror and confusion as can hardly be imagined. 
With regard to myself, it is impossible to conceive 
what I suffered. As it was early in the night I 
happened to be in the courtyard, where I was seized 
and tied by the gang, who then proceeded to break 
into the house, leaving a ruffian sentinel over me, 
with a brace of pistols cocked in his hand. In this 
situation I lay for two hours, and could hear dis- 
tinctly the devastation which was going on within. 
I expected death every instant, and I can safely and 
with great truth declare, that my apprehensions for 
my wife had so totally absorbed the whole of my 
mind, that my own existence was then the least of 
my concern. When the villains, including my 
sentry, ran off, I scrambled on my feet with some 
16 



1786-87] COUNTRY LIFE 

difficulty, and made my way to a window, where 
I called, but received no answer. My heart died 
within me. I proceeded to another and another, 
but still no answer. It was horrible. I set myself 
to gnaw the cords with which I was tied, in a trans- 
port of agony and rage, for I verily believed that 
my whole family lay murdered within, when I was 
relieved from my unspeakable terror and anguish 
by my wife's voice, which I heard calling on my 
name at the end of the house. It seems that, as soon 
as the robbers fled, those within had untied each 
other with some difficulty, and made their escape 
through a back window : they had got a consider- 
able distance from the house, before, in their fright, 
they recollected me, of whose fate they were utterly 
ignorant, as I was of theirs. Under these circum- 
stances, my wife had the courage to return alone, 
and, in the dark, to find me out, not knowing but 
she might again fall into the hands of the villains, 
from whom she had scarcely escaped, or that I 
might be lying a lifeless carcase at the threshold. 
I can imagine no greater effort of courage ; but of 
what is not a woman capable for him she truly 
loves ? She cut the cords which bound me, and 
at length we joined the rest of the family at a little 
hamlet within half a mile of the house, where they 
had fled for shelter. Of all the adventures wherein 
I have been hitherto engaged, this, undoubtedly, 
was the most horrible. It makes me shudder even 
now to think of it. 

(4,409) j 7 s 



EARLY LIFE [1786-87 

This terrible scene, destroyed, in a great degree, 
our domestic enjoyments. I slept continually with 
a case of pistols at my pillow, and a mouse could 
not stir that I was not on my feet and through the 
house from top to bottom. If any one knocked 
at the door after nightfall, we flew to our arms, 
and, in this manner, we kept a most painful garrison 
through the winter. I should observe here, that 
two of the ruffians being taken in an unsuccessful 
attempt, within a few days after our robbery, were 
hanged, and that my father's watch was found on 
one of them. 

At length, when our affairs were again reduced 
into some little order, my father supplied me with 
a small sum of money, which was, however, as 
much as he could spare, and I set off for London, 
leaving my wife and daughter with my father, who 
treated them, during my absence, with great affec- 
tion. After a dangerous passage to Liverpool, 
wherein we ran some risk of being lost, I arrived 
in London in January, 1787, and immediately 
entered my name as a student at law on the books 
of the Middle Temple ; but this I may say was 
all the progress I ever made in that profession. 

As I foresaw by this time that I should never be 
Lord Chancellor, and as my mind was naturally 
active, a scheme occurred to me, to the maturing 
of which I devoted some time and study : this was 
a proposal to the minister to establish a colony in 
one of Cook's newly discovered islands in the 
18 



1786-87] HELPING ENGLAND 

South Sea on a military plan, for all my ideas ran 
in that track, in order to put a bridle on Spain in 
time of peace, and to annoy her grievously in that 
quarter in time of war. In arranging this system, 
which I think even now was a good one for England, 
I read every book I could find relating to South 
America, as Ulloa, Anson, Dampier, Woodes 
Rogers, Narborough, and especially the Bucaniers, 
who were my heroes, and whom I proposed to 
myself as the archetypes of the future colonists. 

At length I drew up a memorial on the subject, 
which I addressed to Mr. Pitt, and delivered with 
my own hands to the porter in Downing Street. 
We waited, I will not say patiently, for about ten 
days, when I addressed a letter to the minister, 
mentioning my memorial, and praying an 
answer, but this application was as unsuccessful as 
the former. Mr. Pitt took not the smallest notice 
of either memorial or letter, and all the benefit I 
reaped from my scheme was the amusement it 
afforded me during three months, wherein it was 
the subject of my constant speculation. I regret 
these delightful reveries which then occupied my 
mind. It was my first essay in what I may call 
politics, and my disappointment made such an im- 
pression on me as is not yet quite obliterated. 

In my anger I made something like a vow, that, 

if ever I had an opportunity, I would make Mr. 

Pitt sorry, and perhaps fortune may yet enable 

me to fulfil that resolution. It was about this time 

19 



EARLY LIFE [1788-89 

I had. a very fortunate escape : my affairs were 
exceedingly embarrassed., and just at a moment 
when my mind was harassed and sore with my 
own vexations I received a letter from my father, 
filled, with complaints, and a description of the 
ruin of his circumstances, which I afterwards found 
was much exaggerated. In a transport of rage, I 
determined to enlist as a soldier in the India Com- 
pany's service ; to quit Europe for ever, and to 
leave my wife and child to the mercy of her family, 
who might, I hoped, be kinder to her when I was 
removed. My brother combated this desperate 
resolution by every argument in his power ; but, 
at length, when he saw me determined, he declared 
I should not go alone, and that he would share my 
fate to the last extremity. In this gloomy state of 
mind, deserted, as we thought, by gods and men, 
we set out together for the India House, in Leaden- 
hall Street, to offer ourselves as volunteers ; but 
on our arrival there, we were informed that the 
season was passed, that no more ships would be 
sent out that year ; but that, if we returned about 
the month of March following, we might be 
received. The clerk, to whom we addressed our- 
selves, seemed not a little surprised at two young 
fellows of our appearance presenting ourselves on 
such a business, for we were extremely well dressed, 
and Will, who was the spokesman for us both, 
had an excellent address. Thus were we stopped, 
and I believe we were the single instance, since the 
20 



1788-89] MORE AMOURS 

beginning of the world, of two men, absolutely 
bent on ruining themselves, who could not find 
the means. We returned to my chambers, and, 
desperate as were our fortunes, we could not help 
laughing at the circumstance that India, the great 
gulf of all undone beings, should be shut against 
us alone. Had it been the month of March instead 
of September, we should most infallibly have gone 
off; and, in that case, I should most probably, 
at this hour, be carrying a brown musket on the 
coast of Coromandel. Providence, however, 
decreed it otherwise, and reserved me, as I hope, 
for better things. 

At the age of four and twenty,* with a tolerable 
figure and address, in an idle and luxurious Capital, 
it will not be supposed I was without adventures 
with the fair sex. The Englishmen neglect their 
wives exceedingly in many essential circumstances. 
I was totally disengaged and did not fail to profit, 
as far as I could, by their neglect, and English 
women are not naturally cruel. I formed, in 
consequence, several delightful connections in Lon- 
don, and as I was extremely discreet, I have the 
satisfaction to think that not one of those to whom 
I had the good fortune to render myself agreeable 
ever suffered the slightest blemish in her reputation 
on my account. I cherish, yet, with affection the 

* Suppressed by Tone's son. One wonders if Tone wrote 
these autobiographical notes, as he wrote his diary, for other 
eyes. 

21 



EARLY LIFE [1788-89 

memory of one charming woman to whom I 
was extremely attached, and I am sure she still 
remembers me with a mutual regard. 

I had been now two years at the Temple, and 
had kept eight terms, that is to say, I had dined 
three days in each term in the common hall. As 
to law, I knew exactly as much about it as I did of 
necromancy. It became, however, necessary to 
think of my return, and, in consequence, I made 
application, through a friend, to my wife's grand- 
father, to learn his intentions as to her fortune. 
He exerted himself so effectually in our behalf that 
the old gentleman consented to give ^500 immedi- 
ately, and expressed a wish for my immediate return. 
In consequence, I packed up directly and set off, 
with my brother, for Ireland. We landed at 
Dublin the 23rd December, and on Christmas Day, 
1788, arrived at my father's house at Blackhall, 
where I had the satisfaction to find all my family 
in health, except my wife, who was grown delicate, 
principally from the anxiety of her mind on the 
uncertainty of her situation. Our little girl was 
now between two and three years old, and was 
charming. After remaining a few days at Black- 
hall, we came up to Dublin, and were received as 
at first, in Grafton Street, by my wife's family. Mr. 
Fanning paid me punctually the sum he had pro- 
mised, and my wife and I both flattered ourselves 
that all past animosities were forgotten, and that 
the reconciliation was as sincere on their part as it 
22 



1790] THE PATRIOT EMERGES 

most assuredly was on ours. I now took lodgings 
in Clarendon Street, purchased about j[,ioo worth 
of law books, and determined, in earnest, to begin 
and study the profession to which I was doomed ; 
in pursuance of this resolution, I commenced 
Bachelor of Laws in February, 1789, and was called 
to the Bar in due form, in Trinity term following ; 
shortly after which I went my first (the Leinster) 
circuit, having been previously elected a member 
of the Bar club. On this circuit, notwithstanding 
my ignorance, I pretty nearly cleared my expenses ; 
and I cannot doubt, if I had continued to apply 
sedulously to the law, but I might have risen to 
some eminence ; but, whether it was my incor- 
rigible habits of idleness, the sincere dislike I had 
to the profession, which the litde insight I was 
beginning to get into it did not tend to remove, 
or whether it was a controlling destiny, I know 
not, but so it was, that I soon got sick and weary of 
the law. I continued, however, for form's sake, 
to go to the courts, and wear a foolish wig and 
gown, for a considerable time, and I went the 
circuit, I believe, in all, three times ; but, as I was, 
modestly speaking, one of the most ignorant bar- 
risters in the Four Courts, and as I took little, or, 
rather, no pains to conceal my contempt and dislike 
for the profession, and especially as I had neither 
the means nor the inclination to treat messieurs 
the attorneys, and to make them drink (a sacrifice 
of their respectability, which even the most liberal- 
23 



EARLY LIFE [1790 

minded of the profession are obliged to make), 
I made, as may well be supposed, no great exhibition 
at the Irish Bar. 

Just at this period the Whig Club was instituted 
in Ireland, and the press groaned with publications 
against them on the part of Government. Two or 
three defences had likewise appeared, but none of 
them extraordinary. Under these circumstances, 
though I was very far from entirely approving the 
system of the Whig Club, and much less their prin- 
ciples and motives, yet, seeing them at the time the 
best constituted political body which the country 
afforded, and agreeing with most of their positions, 
though my own private opinions went infinitely 
further, I thought I could venture on their defence 
without violating my own consistency. I there- 
fore sat down, and in a few days finished my first 
pamphlet, which I entitled " A Review of the Last 
Session of Parliament ! " 

I now looked upon myself as a sort of political 
character, and began to suppose that the House of 
Commons, and not the Bar, was to be the scene of 
my future exertions ; but in this I reckoned like a 
sanguine young man. 

I thought I had at last found my element, and I 
plunged into it with eagerness. A closer examina- 
tion into the situation of my native country had 
very considerably extended my views, and, as I was 
sincerely and honestly attached to her interests, 
I made speedily what was to me a great dis- 
24 



1790] 



NATIONALIST CONSIDERATIONS 



covery, though I might have found it in Swift 
and Molyneux, that the influence of England was 
the Radical vice of our Government, and conse- 
quently that Ireland would never be either free, 
prosperous, or happy, until she was independent, 
and that independence was unattainable whilst the 
connection with England existed. In forming this 
theory, which has ever since unvaryingly directed 
my political conduct, to which I have sacrificed 
everything, and am ready to sacrifice my life if 
necessary, I was exceedingly assisted by an old 
friend of mine, Sir Lawrence Parsons,* whom I look 
upon as one of the very, very few honest men in the 
Irish House of Commons. It was he who first 
turned my attention on this great question, but I 
very soon ran far ahead of my master. It is in fact 
to him I am indebted for the first comprehensive 
view of the actual situation of Ireland ; what his 
conduct might be in a crisis, I know not, but I can 
answer for the truth and justice of his theory. I 
now began to look on the little politics of the Whig 
Club with great contempt ; their peddling about 
petty grievances, instead of going to the root of 
the evil, and I rejoiced that, if I was poor, as I 

* Sir Lawrence Parsons, 1758-1841, later Earl of Rosse, 
member for Queen's County, was " one of the few honest 
men in the Irish House of Commons." He distinguished him- 
self in 1795, during the Fitzwilliam episode, by attacking the 
English Government for its refusal to meet Catholic claims, 
and proposed a short Supply Bill to indicate the disapproval 
of the Irish House. Later he as valiantly opposed the Union. 
Tone speaks of him once as " my friend." 

25 



EARLY LIFE [1790 

actually was, I had preserved my independence, 
and could speak my sentiments without being 
responsible to anybody but the law. 

Shortly after the premature end of my second 
pamphlet we came to an open rupture with my 
wife's family. One circumstance is sufficient to 
prove that the breach was not of our seeking, viz. 
that we had everything to lose and nothing to 
gain by a quarrel, whereas by removing my wife 
from her grandfather's presence, who was very 
fond of her, any portion of his fortune he might 
intend for her would naturally be divided among 
the rest. Of course it was their interest to provoke 
as it was ours to avoid hostilities. My wife's health 
was at this time in a very delicate state, when her 
brother, the captain, thought proper one day to 
insult her grossly, and almost to strike her. I 
should not mention this circumstance if it were 
not to give me an opportunity of recording my 
brother William's behaviour on the occasion.* 

He took an opportunity to see Captain Wither- 
ington and told him in three words that he must 
either come the next morning and apologize to 
his sister for his brutality, or fight him. Wither- 
ington seemed inclined to do neither, and my 
brother left him telling him he should hear from 
him the next day. Witherington, however, spared 
him the trouble, for he was with him the next 

* This paragraph and the next two were suppressed by Tone's 
son. 

26 



1790] NATIONALIST CONSIDERATIONS 

morning at seven o'clock, and repeated an apology 
to my wife which my brother dictated. When he 
had finished his apology he added from himself 
that he thought still he was in the right, on which 
my brother told him that spoiled all and that he 
must repeat the apology a second time, simply and 
without any qualification, which the captain 
thought proper to do, and my brother dismissed 
him with a very severe rebuke, in which he made 
use of expressions such as no officer or gentleman 
ought to have submitted to. 

At the time of this I was in the country, and on 
my return they told me all that had passed, and 
my wife declared her resolution never again to 
expose herself to similar treatment. Shortly after 
I met Captain Witherington in the street. He 
asked me was I apprised of what had passed ? I 
told him I was. He asked me then what I thought 
of it. I replied that I approved of everything my 
wife and brother had said and done, and that I 
condemned the whole of his conduct except his 
apology. I added that if he was dissatisfied with 
that I was ready to explain with him in any manner 
he thought proper. He replied he was perfectly 
satisfied with his own conduct. I said, in that 
case, that I had nothing further to say to him. All 
intercourse from that forward ceased between us, 
and the captain had after all the satisfaction to 
intercept any addition which might have been 
made to my wife's fortune by her grandfather, as 
27 



EARLY LIFE [1790 

the old gentleman died shortly after at a very 
advanced age without seeing her. It is unnecessary 
to observe on the magnanimous behaviour of my 
brother on the occasion I have just recounted, nor 
does it stand in need of the contrasted meanness 
of his adversary to set it off. I hope I should in 
similar circumstances manifest the same readiness 
to protect his wife and defend his honour. 

About this time it was that I formed an acquaint- 
ance with my invaluable friend Russell,* a circum- 
stance which I look upon as one of the most 
fortunate of my life. He is a man whom I love 
as a brother. I will not here attempt a panegyric 
on his merits ; it is sufficient to say, that, I frame 
no system of happiness for my future life in which 
the enjoyment of his society does not constitute 
a most distinguishing feature, and, if I am ever 
inclined to murmur at the difficulties wherewith 
I have so long struggled, I think on the inestimable 
treasure I possess in the affection of my wife and 
the friendship of Russell, and I acknowledge that 
all my labours and sufferings are overpaid. I may 
truly say, that, even at this hour, when I am sepa- 
rated from both of them, and uncertain whether 

* Thomas Russell (1767-1803), referred to in the diary as 
P.P., was a Cork man. He helped to found the United Irish- 
men, was arrested in 1796, and spent six years in jail. He 
became involved in Emmet's insurrection, and was hanged on 
a charge of high treason. A lovable creature, a devoted friend, 
a sincere patriot, he might for all that never have been recorded 
if it were not for Tone's admiration for him — teasing, mocking, 
but always affectionate. 

28 



i 7 9o] DELICIOUS DAYS 

I may ever be so happy as to see them again, there 
is no action of my life which has not a remote 
reference to their opinion, which I equally prize. 
When I think I have acted well, and that I am 
likely to succeed in the important business wherein 
I am engaged, I say often to myself, " My dearest 
love and my friend Russell will be glad of this.' ' 

My wife's health continuing still delicate, she was 
ordered by her physician to bathe in the salt water. 
I hired, in consequence, a little box of a house on 
the sea side, at Irishtown, where we spent the 
summer of 1790. Russell and I were inseparable, 
and, as our discussions were mostly political, and 
our sentiments agreed exactly, we extended our 
views, and fortified each other in the opinions to 
the propagation and establishment of which we 
have ever since been devoted. I recall with trans- 
port the happy days we spent together during that 
period ; the delicious dinners, in the preparation 
of which my wife, Russell, and myself were all 
engaged ; the afternoon walks, the discussions we 
had, as we lay stretched on the grass. It was 
delightful ! 

Sometimes, too, my brother William used to 
join us for a week, from the county Kildare, where 
he resided with my brother Matthew, who had 
lately commenced a cotton manufactory at Pros- 
perous in that county. When Russell, my brother, 
and I were assembled, it is impossible to conceive 
of a happier society. I know not whether our wit 
29 



EARLY LIFE [1790 

was perfectly classical or not, nor does it signify. 
If it was not sterling, at least it passed current 
amongst ourselves. If I may judge, we were none 
of us destitute of the humour indigenous in the 
soil of Ireland ; for three of us I can answer, they 
possessed it in an eminent degree ; add to this, I 
was the only one of the four who was not a poet, 
or at least a maker of verses : so that every day 
produced a ballad, or some poetical squib, which 
amused us after dinner, and, as our conversation 
turned upon no ribaldry, or indecency, my wife 
and sister never left the table. These were delicious 
days. 

This winter T frn<fl eavoured to jns f1 ' flltp a kind of 
political club, from which I expected great things. 
It consisted of seven or eight members, eminent 
for their talents and /patriotism, and who had 
already more or less distinguished themselves by 
their literary productions. They were John Stack, 
Fellow of Trinity College ; Dr. Wm. Drennan,* 
author of the celebrated letters signed Orellana ; 
Joseph Pollock, author of the still more justly cele- 
brated letters of Owen Roe O'Neil ; Peter Bur- 
rowes, a barrister, a man of a most powerful and 
comprehensive mind ; William Johnson, a lawyer, 
also of respectable talents ; Whitley Stokes, a Fellow 

* William Drennan (1754-1820) was a song-writer of some 
distinction. His best-known verses are The Wake of William 
Orr. He founded The Belfast Magazine. Whitley Stokes 
(1763-1845) was a Professor of Physics at Trinity College. 

30 



1790] THOMAS ADDIS EMMET 

of Trinity College, a man the extent and variety of 
whose knowledge is only to be exceeded by the 
number and intensity of his virtues ; Russell, a cor- 
responding member, and myself. As our political 
opinions, at that time, agreed in most essential 
points, however they may have since differed, and 
as this little club most certainly comprised a great 
proportion of information, talents, and integrity, 
it might naturally be expected that some distin- 
guished publications should be the result ; yet, I 
know not how it was, we did not draw well 
together ; our meetings degenerated into down- 
right ordinary suppers ; we became a mere oyster 
club, and, at length, a misunderstanding, or, rather, 
a rooted dislike to each other, which manifested 
itself between Drennan and Pollock (who were 
completely Caesar and Pompey with regard to 
literary empire), joined to the retreat of John Stack 
to his living in the North, and the little good we 
saw resulting from our association, induced us to 
drop off one by one, and thus, after three or four 
months of sickly existence, our club departed this 
life, leaving behind it a puny offspring of about a 
dozen essays on different subjects, all, as may be 
supposed, tolerable, but not one of any distinguished 
excellence. 

In recording the names of the members of the 

Club, I find I have strangely omitted the name of 

a man whom, as well for his talents as his principles, 

I esteem as much as any, far more than most of 

31 



EARLY LIFE [1790 

them, I mean Thomas Addis Emmet,* a barrister. 
He is a man completely after my own heart ; of 
a great and comprehensive mind ; of the warmest 
and sincerest affection for his friends ; and of a 
firm and steady adherence to his principles, to 
which he has sacrificed much, as I know, and 
would, I am sure, if necessary, sacrifice his life. 
His opinions and mine square exactly. In classing 
the men I most esteem, I would place him beside 
Russell, at the head of the list ; because, with 
regard to them both, the most ardent feelings of 
my heart coincide exactly with the most severe 
decision of my judgment. There are men whom 
I regard as much as it is possible. I am sure, for 
example, if there be on earth such a thing as sincere 
friendship, I feel it for Whitley Stokes, for George 
Knox, and for Peter Burro wes. They are men 
whose talents I admire, whose virtues I reverence, 
and whose persons I love ; but the regard which 
I feel for them, sincere and affectionate as it is, is 
certainly not of the same species with that which 
I entertain for Russell and Emmet. Between us 
there has been, from the very commencement of 
our acquaintance, a coincidence of sentiment, a 
harmony of feelings on points which we all consci- 
entiously consider as of the last importance, which 

* Thomas Addis Emmet (1764-1827), a Cork man, was one 

of the Directorate of the United Irishmen. In 1798 he was 

arrested and kept in jail for four years. He died in America, 

one of the most distinguished members of the New York Bar. 

32 



i 7 9i] THE FRENCH REVOLUTION 

binds us in the closest ties to each other. We have 
unvaryingly been devoted to the pursuit of the 
same object, by the same means ; we have had a 
fellowship in our labours ; a society in our dangers ; 
our hopes, our fears, our wishes, our friends, and 
our enemies, have been the same. When all this 
is considered, and the talents and principles of the 
men taken into the account, it will not be wondered 
at if I esteem Russell and Emmet as the first of 
my friends. 

The French Revolution had now been above a 
twelvemonth in its progress ; at its commencement, 
as the first emotions are generally honest, every one 
was in its favour ; but, after some time, the prob- 
able consequences to monarchy and aristocracy 
began to be foreseen, and the partisans of both 
to retrench considerably in their admiration. 

In England, Burke had the triumph completely 
to decide the public ; fascinated by an eloquent 
publication, which flattered so many of their pre- 
judices, and animated by their unconquerable hatred 
of France, which no change of circumstances could 
alter, the whole English nation, it may be said, 
retracted from their first decision in favour of the 
glorious and successful efforts of the French people ; 
they sickened at the prospect of the approaching 
liberty and happiness of that mighty nation : they 
calculated, as merchants, the probable effects which 
the energy of regenerated France might have on 
their commerce ; they rejoiced when they saw 

(4,409) ,3 ^ 



EARLY LIFE [1791 

the combination of despots formed to restore the 
ancient system, and perhaps to dismember the 
monarchy ; and they waited with impatience for 
an occasion, which, happily for mankind, they soon 
found, when they might, with some appearance 
of decency, engage in person in the infamous con- 
test. 

But matters were very different in Ireland, an 
oppressed, insulted, and plundered nation. As we 
well knew, experimentally, what it was to be en- 
slaved, we sympathized most sincerely with the 
French people, and watched their progress to free- 
dom with the utmost anxiety ; we had not, like 
England, a prejudice rooted in our very nature 
against France. As the Revolution advanced, and 
as events expanded themselves, the public spirit of 
Ireland rose with a rapid acceleration. The fears 
and animosities of the aristocracy rose in the same, 
or a still higher proportion. In a little time the 
French Revolution became the test of every man's 
political creed, and the nation was fairly divided 
into two great parties, the Aristocrats and the 
Democrats (epithets borrowed from France), who 
have ever since been measuring each other's strength, 
and carrying on a kind of smothered war, which the 
course of events, it is highly probable, may soon 
call into energy and action. 

It is needless, I believe, to say that I was a Demo- 
crat from the very commencement, and, as all the 
retainers of Government, including the sages and 
34 



1791] CHOICE OF CAREER 

judges of the law, were, of course, on the other side, 
this gave the coup de grace to any expectations, if any 
such I had, of my succeeding at the Bar, for I soon 
became pretty notorious ; but, in fact, I had for some 
time renounced all hope, and, I may say, all desire, 
of succeeding in a profession which I alway disliked, 
and which the political prostitution of its members 
(though otherwise men of high honour and of 
great personal worth) had taught me sincerely to 
despise. I therefore seldom went near the Four 
Courts, nor did I adopt any one of the means, and, 
least of all, the study of the law, which are success- 
fully employed by those young men whose object 
it is to rise in their profession. 

It was pretty much about this time that my 
connection with the Catholic body commenced 
in a manner which I am about to relate. I cannot 
pretend to strict accuracy as to dates, for I write 
entirely from memory ; all my papers being in 
America. 

Russell had, on his arrival to join his regiment 
at Belfast, found the people so much to his taste, 
and in return had rendered himself so agreeable to 
them, that he was speedily admitted into their con- 
fidence, and became a member of several of their 
clubs. This was an unusual circumstance, as 
British officers, it may well be supposed, were 
no great favourites with the Republicans of Belfast. 

Russell wrote me an account of all this, and it 
immediately set me on thinking more seriously 
35 



EARLY LIFE [1791 

than I had yet done upon the state of Ireland. I 
soon formed my theory, and on that theory I have 
unvaryingly acted ever since. 

To subvert the tyranny of our execrable Govern- 
ment, to break the connection with England, the 
never-failing source of all our political evils, and to 
assert the independence of my country — these were 
my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, 
to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and 
to substitute the common name of Irishman in 
place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, 
and Dissenter — these were my means. To effectu- 
ate these great objects, I reviewed the three great 
sects. The Protestants I despaired of from the outset 
for obvious reasons. Already in possession by an 
unjust monopoly of the whole power and patronage 
of the country, it was not to be supposed they would 
ever concur in measures the certain tendency of 
which must be to lessen their influence as a party, 
how much soever the nation might gain. To the 
Catholics I thought it unnecessary to address myself, 
because, that as no change could make their political 
situation worse, I reckoned upon their support to 
a certainty ; besides, they had already begun to 
manifest a strong sense of their wrongs and oppres- 
sions ; and, finally, I well knew that, however it 
might be disguised or suppressed, there existed in 
the breast of every Irish Catholic an inextirpable 
abhorrence of the English name and power. There 
remained only the Dissenters, whom I knew to be 
36 



i 7 9i] ANOTHER PAMPHLET 

patriotic and enlightened ; however, the recent 
events at Belfast had showed me that all prejudice 
was not yet entirely removed from their minds. 
I sat down accordingly, and wrote a pamphlet 
addressed to the Dissenters, and which I entitled, 
" An Argument on behalf of the Catholics of 
Ireland," the object of which was to convince them 
that they and the Catholics had but one common 
interest and one common enemy ; that the depres- 
sion and slavery of Ireland was produced and per- 
petuated by the divisions existing between them, 
and that, consequently, to assert the independence 
of their country, and their own individual liberties, 
it was necessary to forget all former feuds, to con- 
solidate the entire strength of the whole nation, 
and to form for the future but; one people. These 
principles I supported by the best arguments which 
suggested themselves to me, and particularly by 
demonstrating that the cause of the failure of all 
former efforts, and more especially of the Volun- 
teer Convention in 1783, was the unjust neglect 
of the claims of their Catholic brethren. This 
pamphlet* which appeared in September, 1791, 
under the signature of A Northern Whig, had a 
considerable degree of success. As my pamphlet 

* " An extremely able pamphlet . . . remarkable for the 
clearness with which it sounded a note which now became 
common in Irish popular politics — unqualified hatred of the 
Irish Parliament and profound contempt for the revolution of 
1782. It is said that not less than ten thousand copies were 
sold." (Lecky, vol. iii. p. 10 following.) 

37 



EARLY LIFE [1791 

spread more and more, my acquaintance amongst 
the Catholics extended accordingly. My first 
friend in the body was John Keogh,* and through 
him I became acquainted with all the leaders, as 
Richard McCormick, John Sweetman, Edward 
Byrne, Thomas Braughall, — in short, the whole 
sub-committee, and most of the active members 
of the General Committee. In short, I began to 
grow into something like reputation, and my 
company was, in a manner, a requisite all that 
winter. 

The Volunteers of Belfast, of the first or green 
company, were pleased, in consequence of my 
pamphlet, to elect me an honorary member of 
their corps, a favour which they were very delicate 
in bestowing, as I believe I was the only person, 
except the great Henry Flood, who was ever 
honoured with that mark of their approbation. I 
was also invited to spend a few days in Belfast, in 
order to assist in framing the first club of United 

* John Keogh (1740-18 17) the Gog of the diaries, was a man 
whose name has never been adequately (if indeed at all) 
honoured by Irishmen. For something like forty years he 
laboured for the Catholics. He planted the seed of fire that 
O'Connell blew to a flame. Without him O'Connell might 
well have had to be another Keogh — preparing the way for 
another man. Before Keogh there was nothing. After Keogh 
there was a new spirit, due almost entirely to the exertions and 
example of this one obscure man. His patient methods did not 
commend themselves to Tone, who, nevertheless, recognized 
his integrity and persistence. What O'Connell was to the 
Young Irelanders, Keogh and the Catholic Committee was to 
the United Irishmen. 

38 



i 7 9i] THE FIRST "UNITED IRISHMEN" 

Irishmen, and to cultivate a personal acquaintance 
with those men whom, though I highly esteemed, 
I knew as yet but by reputation. In consequence, 
about the beginning of October, I went down 
with my friend Russell, who had, by this time, 
quit the army, and was in Dublin, on his private 
affairs. The incidents of that journey, which was 
by far the most agreeable and interesting one I 
had ever made, I recorded in a kind of diary, a 
practice which I then commenced, and have ever 
since, from time to time, continued, as circum- 
stances of sufficient importance occurred. To that 
diary I refer. 



39 



[1791 



II 

THE DIARY OF A MILD CONSPIRATOR 

July 14th. I sent down to Belfast, resolutions 
suited to this day, and reduced to three heads. 
1st. That -English influence in Ireland was the great 
grievance of the country. 2nd. That the most 
effectual way to oppose it was by a reform in 
Parliament. 3rd. That no reform could be just 
or efficacious which did not include the Catholics, 
which last opinion, however, in concession to 
prejudices, was rather insinuated than asserted. 

October nth. Arrived at Belfast late, and was 
introduced to Digges, but no material conversation. 
Bonfires, illuminations, firing twenty-one guns, 
Volunteers, etc. 

October 12th. Introduced to McTier and Sinclair. 
A meeting between Russell, McTier, Macabe, and 
me. Mode of doing business by a Secret Committee, 
who are not known or suspected of co-operating, 
but who, in fact, direct the movements of Belfast. 
Much conversation about the Catholics, and their 
committee, etc., of which they know wonderfully 
little at Blefescu. Settled to dine with the Secret 
40 



i 7 9i] CONVIVIALITY cum CONSPIRACY 

Committee* at Drew's, on Saturday, when the 
resolutions, etc., of the United Irish will be sub- 
mitted. Sent them off, and sat down to new model 
the former copy. Very curious to see how the 
thermometer of Blefescu has risen, as to politics. 
Christened Russell P. P. Clerk of this Parish. 
Sinclair asked us to dine and meet Digges, which 
we acceded to with great affability. Went to 
Sinclair, and dined. A great deal of general politics 
and wine. Paine's book, the Koran of Blefescu. 
History of the Down and Antrim elections. The 
Reeve of the shire a semi- Whig. P. P. very drunk. 
Home ; bed. 

October 13th. Much good jesting in bed, at the ex- 
pense of P. P. Laughed myself into good humour. 
Rose. Breakfast. Made further alterations in the 
resolutions, by advice of Digges. Went to Gordons. 
Very respectable people, and a large company. 
Drank nothing. Went, at nine, to the card club, 
with Gordon and P. P. Came home early, much 
fatigued, and went to bed. 

October 14th. Walked all about the town, seeing 
sights. Four o'clock ; went to dinner to meet the 
Secret Committee. Agreed to the resolutions 
unanimously. Resolved to transmit a copy to 
Tandy, "\ and request his and his fellow citizens' 

* The Belfast Volunteers had given birth to a secret political 
club. The various people mentioned in this and following 
entries were members. 

j* James Napper Tandy (1740-1803), immortalized by the 
reference to him in The Wearing of the Green, prominent in 

41 



A MILD CONSPIRATOR [1791 

co-operation, from which great benefit is expected 
to result to the cause, by reflecting back credit on 
the United Irishmen of Blefescu. 

October 15th. Digges came in to supper. I had 
been lecturing P. P. on the state of his nerves, and 
the necessity of early hours ; to which he agreed, 
and, as the first fruits of my advice and his reforma- 
tion, sat up with Digges until three o'clock in the 
morning, being four hours after I had gone to bed. 

October i6th> Sunday. Breakfast, Digges, Jordan, 
and Macabe. Church — a vile sermon from Bris- 
towe (called Caiaphas) against smuggling, etc., and 
about loyalty, and all that. P. P. in great sorrow 
and distress of mind ; resolved to leave off smug- 
gling, which is injurious to the fair trader. 

October 17th. Breakfast, McDonnell, McAugh- 
trey, Bryson, Digges, P. P., and I. Went to the 
inn ; P. P. paid the bill, by which my anxiety as 
to my shillings is completely removed ; believe 
I owe him now two or three, but shall not inquire. 
Came into town early ; went to the theatre ; saw 
a man in a white sheet on the stage, who called 
himself a Carmelite. P. P. whispered to me, with 
a very significant face, not to be too sure he was a 

person and in action, impressive and (if Tone is to be believed) 
anxious to impress, a genuine patriot, one of the most active 
and striking figures of the Volunteers of 1782. He followed 
Humbert to Ireland with a little legion of Irishmen, was ulti- 
mately taken and sentenced to death in 1801 — then quite an old 
man. He was spared, and died an exile in France. Tone's 
account of his behaviour, later, is acid. 
42 



i 7 9i] RIGHTS OF MAN 

Carmelite. Puzzled at this ; turned round in a 
little time with my doubts to P. P. P. P. asleep. 
N.B. — A gentleman, indeed a nobleman, on the 
stage, in a white wig, vastly like a gentleman whom 
I had seen in the morning, walking the streets in a 
brown wig ; one Mr. Atkins, a player. Query, 
Was he a lord or not ? 

October iSth. Could not sleep ; a cat in the 
room ; got up and turned her out ; fell asleep 
at last. 

October 19th. Mem. P. P. got up very early in 
the morning, this day, and wrote three letters before 
I was up ; on which proof of the amendment of 
his life I remitted the attack which I had intended 
to make upon him. 

October 22nd. Home early ; no letters. P. P. 
in bed before me for the first time. Mem. Met the 
man who said on the stage he was a Carmelite, 
walking the streets with a woman holding him by 
the arm ; the woman painted up to the eyes ; con- 
vinced, at last, that he was no Carmelite ; made 
my apologies to P. P., who triumphed thereon. 

October 2yd, Sunday. Went to the Donegal 
Arms and supped on lobsters. Drunk. Very ill- 
natured to P. P. P. P. patient. Mem. To do so 
no more. Went to bed. Gulled P. P. with non- 
sense. Fell asleep. 

October 2$th. Dinner at McTier's ; Waddel, 
Cunningham, Holmes, Dr. Bruce, etc. A furious 
battle, which lasted two hours, on the Catholic 
43 



A MILD CONSPIRATOR [1791 

question ; as usual, neither party convinced. 
Seized with the liberality of people agreeing in 
the principle, but doubting as to the expediency. 
Bruce an intolerant high priest ; argued some- 
times strongly, sometimes unfairly ; embarrassed 
the question by distinctions, and mixing things in 
their nature separate. We brought him, at last, to 
state his definite objection to the immediate emanci- 
pation of the Roman Catholics. His ideas are : 
1st. Danger to true religion, inasmuch as the Roman 
Catholics would, if emancipated, establish an in- 
quisition. 2nd. Danger to property by reviving 
the Court of Claims, and admitting any evidence 
to substantiate Catholic titles. 3rd. Danger, gener- 
ally, of throwing the power into their hands, which 
would make this a Catholic Government, incapable 
of enjoying or extending liberty. Many other wild 
notions, which he afterwards gave up, but these 
three he repeated again and again as his creed. 
Almost all the company of his opinion, excepting 
P. P., who made desperate battle, McTier, Getty, 
and me ; against us, Bruce, Cunningham, Grey, 
Holmes, Bunting, H. Joy. Ferguson dubitante and 
cceteri, all protesting their liberality and good wishes 
to the Roman Catholics. Damned stuff. Bruce 
declared that thirty-nine out of forty Protestants 
would be found, whenever the question came for- 
ward, to be adverse to the liberation of the Roman 
Catholics, as was the case when Lord Charlemont 
put in his veto, and seemed pleased with the idea. 
44 



I79i] MORE DISCUSSIONS 

It may be he was right, but God is above all. Sad 
nonsense about scavengers becoming members of 
Parliament, and great asperity against the new- 
fangled doctrine of the Rights of Man. Broke 
up rather ill disposed towards each other. More 
and more convinced of the absurdity of arguing over 
wine. Went to the United Irish Club. Balloted 
in five men, amongst whom were Maclaine and 
Getty ; rejected one. Went to the coterie. Jordan 
pleasant, as usual. Home at two. Bed. 

October 26th. McTier asked what could we do 
against England. Sinclair hot. He and P. P. agree 
that the army in Ireland would be annihilated, and 
could not be replaced. Sinclair defies the power 
of England as to our trade ; admits that she could 
check it for a time, but that, after the revolution, 
it would spring up with inconceivable rapidity, 
Ireland being unencumbered with debt. (Singular 
that his opinion agrees with Digges, even in the very 
words.) My own mind quite made up. Sinclair 
bleaches annually 10,000 pieces of linen. P. P. 
of opinion that the weakness of England should 
be looked to, as well of that of Ireland ; also Mr. 
Digges, who says, " The first shot fired by England 
against this country, down go her stocks.' ' Home 
early. P. P. pretty well on, but not quite gone. 
Bed. 



45 



Ill 



THE DIARY OF A LESS MILD 
CONSPIRATOR 

Notes, letters, etc., of 1792. Journal of the Proceed- 
ings of Mr. John Hutton on his second embassy to 
Belfast; also his dealings with the Catholics, in- 
cluding his combinations with sundry dissenting 
Republicans, and his plan for a general system of 
Irish Jacobins* 

Monday, July $th. Set out posting with the 
Keeper of the College Lions for Belfast {Whitley 
Stokes) — Breakfast at the Man-of-War ; missed 
poor P. P. sadly. The Keeper dull. Proposed 
piquet ; agreed to ; played very fair ; doubt that 
the Keeper is a blackleg. Nothing material until 

* Tone had meantime been appointed Assistant Secretary to 
the Catholic Committee at a salary of ,£200 per annum. The 
prospects for the Catholics were favourable. In February Sir 
Hercules Langrishe had introduced a Catholic Relief Bill. It 
was the third such Bill, the others being Gardiner's of 1778, and 
the Bills collectively known as Gardiner's Second Relief Bill 
of 1782 — the relief gained by the threats of the Volunteers. 
They removed some of the worst features of the cruel Penal 
Laws. A fourth Relief Bill came in 1793, and was the last 
until Emancipation in 1829. 

46 



1792] STILL DEFENDING THE CATHOLICS 

Dundalk ; scored ten there for a man leading a pig 
in a string. Ditto at Loughbrickland ; game at 
Banbridge ; the Keeper 55, Mr. Hutton 95. Sleep 
at Banbridge. 

10th. Set off early ; see a cat before we come 
to the bridge ; game. — The Keeper mortified. 
Very pretty amusement for a statesman and a 
philosopher. O Lord ! O Lord ! — On an average, 
about a cat and one-seventh of a cat per mile on the 
great northern road. Make no other remark of any 
importance or use on the journey. — Arrive at 
Belfast at one o'clock ; learn that the first company 
is at exercise, and dine upon Waddel Cunningham. 
Unpack in a hurry, and dress in regimentals ; run 
off to the field and leave the Keeper to fag. Meet 
everybody. Cunningham very civil ; dine in the 
tent, at the right hand of the Captain. After dinner 
the whole company turn out and dance on the field ; 
vastly French ; march into town in the evening, 
" all with magnanimity and benevolence" Sup with 
Ncilson and the old set ; very much tired after my 
journey. Bed at one o'clock. 

12th. Dinner at the Hypocrite's. Read the 
address from the committee ; Waddel Cunning- 
ham opposes it, without assigning any reason. 
Neilson at him. At last out it comes. The 
coming down of Mr. Hutton has given great 
alarm, especially as he has brought with him some 
man from the college, whom no one knows. The 
company all laugh ; Cunningham goes off in a pet. 
47 



A LESS MILD CONSPIRATOR [1792 

The address read, paragraph by paragraph, and 
approved unanimously, except that part which 
relates to the Catholics, which had H. Joy's single 
negative. Address to the National Assembly read 
and approved in like manner. Broke up. Home. 
Bed as usual at half-past one. Damned bad 
hours ! 

13th. The Harpers again. Strum strum and be 
hanged. Hear that several Catholics have been 
seen; run to try; find Magog, Weldon, and others, 
to a large amount. The hair of Dr. Haliday's wig 
miraculously grows grey with fear of the Catholics. 
Several comets appear in the market-place. Walk 
the Catholics about to show them the lions. See 
a figure of Commerce at the insurance office ; the 
Catholics mistake it for an image, and kneel down, 
take out their beads, and say their prayers before it ; 
leave them at the Exchange, and go to dinner with 
Simms. The old set. Drink nothing. Go at 
seven to meet the Jacobins. The time-to-time 
people say with great gravity that Mr. Hutton is 
come to force seditious papers down their throats. 
Mr. Hutton a man of great consequence, as it 
seems. The Keeper, who is in the plot, a cunning 
hand ; all day out picking up clay, etc., the better 
to conceal his designs, but Waddel and Joy too 
knowing to be had in that manner. Mr. Hutton 
almost angry at all this nonsense, and very sorry 
that any man, woman, or child in Belfast should 
listen to such trash. Expect a sharp opposition 
48 



1792] "MODERATION IS NONSENSE" 

tomorrow. Bed. A plot ! a plot ! Neilson 
comes to my bedside at one o'clock, with orders 
to prepare for battle in the morning. Passing by 
a room in the inn, he heard Cunningham's voice 
very loud ; the door being half open, he went in 
and found, to his utter astonishment, delegates from 
the country corps, with Waddel haranguing against 
the Catholics, and talking of some sedition intended 
to be broached the next day. Waddel taken all 
aback by this apparition of Neilson. Neilson abuses 
him and reads the papers ; the company breaks 
up without coming to any determination, but 
Neilson expects hot work in the morning. Waddel 

a . Sleep at last, about two. 

14th July, era of the French Revolution ! A council 
of war held in a potato field, adjacent to the review 
ground. Present, the Draper in the chair, the Trib- 
une, his brother George, Dr. Crawford, of Lis- 
burn ; Rev. Mr. Craig, Dr. McKenna, and Mr. 
Hutton : all fools except the first and last. Craw- 
ford and Tandy frightened out of their wits. We 
are undone ; shall be defeated ; all the country 
corps decidedly against us, from the report of some 
seditious paper (the old story) ; better to adopt 
something moderate, that shall include all parties ; 
danger of disunion ; risk of credit if we should 
even succeed by a small majority, which is the best 
that can be hoped ; the country folks afraid ; da 
capo, etc. Moderation — nonsense ! March into 
town at three. Meet Haslitt and Neilson : take 

(4,409) 49 6 



A LESS MILD CONSPIRATOR [1792 

the word " Catholic " out, and put in the word 
" Irishmen " of every religious denomination. 
Procession. Meeting at the Linen Hall, astonishing 
full. Question moved by the Draper. Before 
the debate goes on five minutes, satisfied that we 
have it hollow ; the Lisburn men, and our good 
advisers in the field all mistaken. More and more 
satisfied that their moderation is nonsense and stuff. 
Carry the question with about five dissenting voices, 
among whom are Joy and Waddel Cunningham. 
All hollow. Could have carried anything. The 
business now fairly settled in Belfast and the neigh- 
bourhood. Huzza ! Huzza ! Dinner at the Donegal 
Arms. Everybody as happy as a king, but Waddel, 
who looks like the Devil himself ! Huzza ! God 
bless everybody ! Stanislas Augustus, George 
Washington : Beau-jour. Who would have 
thought it this morning ? Huzza ! Generally 
drunk. — Broke my glass thumping the table. 
Home, God knows how or when. Huzza ! God 
bless everybody again, generally. — Bed, with three 
times three. Sleep at last. 

16th. Rise and go to breakfast with Will Simms 
at the Grove ; all the Catholics from Dublin there. 
Council of war in the garden, Gog, Robert Simms, 
and Mr. Hutton. Gog expounds the plan of 
organizing the Catholic body. Mr. Hutton takes 
the opportunity to press an idea started by P. P. 
several months back, for organizing, in a similar 
manner, the Dissenting interest. All agree that if 

50 



i 7 92] IN THE COUNTRY 

that could be accomplished, the business would be 
done. 

ijth. Waked by Neilson, to see Gog, and other 
Catholics, before they set off Go to the inn. 
Much conversation about the Peep-of-day-boys 
and Defenders. 

i$tk Rise, and set off with Neilson and young 
Lowry, to Rathfriland. In about an hour the 
Catholics arrive from Downpatrick. Meet Mr. 
Tighe, the Parson, Sam. Barber, the Dissenting 
Minister, Mr. Derry, the Priest, and about eighteen 
gentlemen of the neighbourhood. Agreed on all 
hands that the Protestants were the aggressors. 
Several have been killed on both sides. Great 
offence taken at the Catholics marching about in 
military array, and firing shots at unseasonable 
times. The Catholics and Mr. Hutton receive the 
thanks of the meeting for their public spirit in 
coming down on the occasion. All part on excel- 
lent terms. Mr. Hutton meditates attempting an 
excursion to Dungannon. 

19th. Mr. Hutton, on several occasions, pressed 
his friends the Jacobins to try and extend their clubs 
through the North. The Draper highly approves 
the plan, also Haslitt, also the Tanner and his brother. 
The Irish Slave swears he will begin his operations 
immediately, as we have talked enough, and it is 
time to begin to act. Mr. Hutton to write a scur- 
rilous letter for the said Slave, to John Foster. 

N.B. — The meeting on the 14th like the old 
5i 



A LESS MILD CONSPIRATOR [1792 

German meetings in the woods. All the people 
sitting, and the armed warriors in a ring standing 
round. Fine effect of the unanimous aye of the 
Assembly when passing the address. Mr. Hutton 
affected so that the tears stood in his eyes ; senti- 
mental and pretty. 

Dublin y July 21st. Rode out with Gog to Grattan. 
Talk of next winter. He apprehends Government 
will make a blow at the Catholics by committing 
their chairman. Mr. Hutton of opinion that the 
whole body should rise and go with him in the 
event. Grattan advises to let him go, and immedi- 
ately elect another. If he be committed, elect 
another, and so on, but never to recede. Say O to 
him and depart, having first promised to dine with 
him at Tinnehinch on Saturday next. 

28th, 29th, $oth. Sub-committee. Writing 
letters. Hear that Neilson is come to town. 
Dine with him at Braughall's. Nothing new. 
Introduced in form to the General Committee. 

August 1st. Merry be the first of August ! Busy 
all day folding papers, etc., for the Munster bishops. 
Damn all bishops ! Gog not quite well on that 
point. Thinks them a good thing. Nonsense. 

August 2nd. More papers. 

August yd. Sub-committee. Folding circular 
letters, etc. Wexford returns at last. Rent-roll of 
their delegates, £15,000 per annum. Bravo ! 
This makes eight counties. 



52 



1792] 



BIGOTRY 



Journal of the proceedings of John Hutton, Esq., on 
his third journey to the North of Ireland, includ- 
ing his artful negotiations with the Peep-of-day- 
hoys, and sundry Peers of the realm ; also, his 
valorous entry into, and famous retreat out of 
the city of Rathfriland ; interspersed with sundry 
delectable adventures and entertaining anecdotes. 
— Vive le Roi. 



August 7, 1792. Set out posting on my expedition 
among the Peep-of-day-boys, with Gog and 
Neilson. Pleasant journey. Arrive in Drogheda, 
and dine. Settle with Neilson to meet us at 
Rathfriland. 

11th. Breakfast at O'Hanlon's. Hear that Mr. 
Barber is of opinion that we ought not to go to 
Rathfriland, and has desired some one to write us 
word so to Dublin. It is surmised that his reason 
is, lest we might be insulted by some of the bigots 
in that town. Cannot help it : what must be, 
must be, and we must go to Rathfriland. Buy 
powder and ball, and load our pistols, for fear of 
accidents. My balls too little ; damn it ! Afraid 
of Capt. Swan, who is a bloody Peep-of-day-boy : 
endeavour to make a pun on his name : something 
about goose, but it won't do. Set off for Mr. 
O'Neil, of Bannvale, on our way for Rathfriland. 
Arrive at length at that flourishing seat of liberality 
and public virtue. " I fear thee, O Rathfriland, 
lest that thy girls with spits, and boys with stones, in 
53 



A LESS MILD CONSPIRATOR [1792 

puny battle slay me" Stop at Murphy's Inn, six 
in number, all valiant. Get paper, and begin to 
write to Dr. Tighe, Mr. Barber, and Mr. A. Lowry. 
Stop short by the intelligence that the Landlord 
will give us no accommodations ! Hey ! hey ! 
The fellow absolutely refuses. He has cold beef 
and lamb chops, and will give us neither, but turns 
off on his heel. Damned fine. Well, Mr. Murphy ! 
The dog is a Quaker. A striking proof of the state 
of politics in this country, when a Landlord will 
not give accommodation for money to Catholics. 
Mr. Linsey has got a sore leg and cannot come. 
Get a Mr. Murphy at last, brother to our hospitable 
Landlord, and a decent man : explain the motives 
of our coming to him, and remind him of the con- 
versation of 1 8 th July last. He seems very much 
ashamed of the behaviour of his brother, and, in 
some degree, apprehensive of our meeting some 
insult ; which, however, he hopes may not happen. 
Arrive at Mr. O'NeiTs and dine. Old gentry, and 
very hospitable and kind. Mr. O'Neil exceedingly 
hurt at being refused a dinner in Rathfriland, within 
sight of which he and his ancestors have lived for 
a century. Horrible thing, these religious dis- 
cords, which are certainly fomented by the aristo- 
crats of this country. 

14th. Walk out and see McCracken's new ship, 
the Hibernia. Hibernia has an English crown on 
her shield. We all roar at him. 

i$th. Waken drunk. Breakfast with Neilson, 
54 



179*] 



PROPAGANDIZING 



the Jacobin, etc. Write a letter on the Grand Jury 
of Derry, signed A Derry Farmer : also a paragraph 
to the same purpose ; also another on the report 
of the submission of the Poles (very bad news if it 
be true). Also another on the Derry Grand Jury. 

16th. Set off, and arrive at Ballinahinch late. 
Introduced to M'Clokey, a proper man. That 
neighbourhood almost totally converted, though 
very bad some little time back. A new corps 
raised there on Peep-of-day-boy * principles, con- 
verted by M'Clokey, who, in return, is chosen 
their lieutenant. All well. The Catholics and 
they are now on such good terms that the Catholics 
lend them their arms to learn their exercise, and 
walk to see them parade, and both parties now in 
high affection with each other, who were before 
ready to cut each other's throats. All this done in 
about two months, or less, and by the exertions of 
one obscure man. What might not be done by 
the aristocrats of the county Down if they were 
actuated by the same spirit ? Damn them ! Mug 
a quantity of mulled wine. Generally drunk. 
Union of Irishmen with three times three, etc. 
Bed late. 

19th, Sunday. Go to Mass ; foolish enough ; 

* The Peep-O'-Day Boys got their name some seven years 
before from the plan adopted by northern Protestants of raiding 
Catholic homes at dawn in search of arms. They gave rise to a 
Catholic group called Defenders. In 1795 the former became 
Orangemen ; by then the latter had been either dissipated or 
organized as United Irishmen. 

55 



A LESS MILD CONSPIRATOR [1792 

too much trumpery. The King of France dethroned ! ! 
Very glad of it, for now the people have fair play. 
What will the army do ? God send they may 
stand by the nation. Everything depends upon 
the line they take. Our success depends on things 
which some of us are such fools as not to see. 

2$th. Drive down to find Grattan ; Devereux, 
of county Wexford, accompanying me, Gog being 
hipped. Grattan not at home ; find him at last 
at Broome's, of Killmacud, and settle to call on 
him next day. 

27*/*, Sunday. Tinnehinch. Read the manifesto to 
Grattan and Hardy ; Grattan thinks it too contro- 
versial and recommends moderation in language, 
and firmness in action. All very reasonable. 
Grattan takes Mr. Hutton aside, and tells him that, 
as the season for action is now approaching, it is the 
wish of himself and his friends that all communica- 
tion between them and the Catholics should be 
through him, Mr. Hutton ; as, if they were to hold 
personal communication, Government would say 
they were agitators, inflaming the public mind, and 
that, instead of their being the organ of the Catholic 
sentiments, the Catholics were only instruments in 
their hands ; that the grievances of the Catholics 
would thereby be said not to be felt, but suggested 
by Grattan and his friends, to answer the purposes of 
a faction ; all which would entail a kind of responsi- 
bility on them, and embarrass and weaken them 
much in the operations of next winter. Mr. Hutton 

56 



1792] 



GOG IS JEALOUS 



very much pleased with this ; and the more, as the 
party had absolutely refused to communicate with 
his great predecessor, Burke, and now refuse to 
communicate with the Catholics through any other 
medium than himself. Bravo ! break the matter 
gently to Gog. Gog struck all of a heap— jealous 
as the devil ; says he sees the cause is desperate, and 
that Grattan is going to give them up ; no such 
thing. Argue with him, and satisfy him tolerably, 
but his vanity, of which he has plenty, has got a 
mortal blow — poor Gog ! 

2%th August. Grattan again. Repeats his desire 
of communicating with the Catholics through Mr. 
Hutton only. He sails for England to-night. 

$th. Edmund Burke has Gog's boys now on a 
visit at Bcaconsfield, and writes him a letter in 
their praise. The scheme of this obvious enough. 
He wants to enlist Gog, on behalf of his son,* but 
it won't do. Gog sees the thing clear enough. 
Sad ! sad ! Edmund wants to get another 2,000 
guineas for his son, if he can ; dirty work ! Ed- 
mund no fool in money matters. Flattering Gog 
to carry his point. Is that sublime or beautiful ? 

9th, Sunday. Drive in Browne's carriage to Cel- 

* In 1 79 1 the Catholic Committee had brought over Richard 
Burke, Edmund's son, to act as their agent in their effort to 
get the ear of Parliament. He did not act with sufficient tact 
or prudence, and finally broke with the General Committee, 
which, however, treated him with respect to the last, and 
presented him, on his departure, with the sum of two thousand 
guineas. 

57 



A LESS MILD CONSPIRATOR [1792 

bridge, and meet the Catholic Commissioners to the 
South ; agree to call first on the Duke of Leinster ; 
set off to Carton, and find Conolly there ; much 
conversation ; Gog very bad and diffuse. Conolly 
a strange rambling fool ; talked for near an hour, 
without the least connection, about a Union, the 
Regency, Mr. Fox, the Whig Club, the Catholics, 
a pension bill, a place bill, a Union, Da capo, etc., 
etc., etc. The Duke took much pains to set and 
keep him right ; has ten times the understanding 
of Conolly ; the result was that we convinced 
him that we intended nothing violent or hostile, 
and then he declared himself satisfied. 



58 



IV 



THE CONSPIRATOR BECOMES 
IMPATIENT 

VISIT TO CONNAUGHT 

Journal of the proceedings of Mr. John Hutton, in his 
peregrination to convert the natives of Connaught, 
and more especially of Galway and Mayo, to the true 
political faith. 

October 5, Friday, 1792. Left Dublin at eight in 
the evening in a post-chaise, with Mr. Braughall, 
commonly called in this journal T. B. Loaded 
with good advice by Gog in the morning, who has 
given me a broad hint to puff him in Connaught. 
An adventure ! Stopped by three foot-pads near 
the park gate, who threaten to exterminate the 
post-boy if he attempts to move ; T. B. valiant, 
also Mr. Hutton. Mr. Hutton uses menacing 
language to the said foot-pads, and orders the post- 
boy, in an imperious tone of voice, to drive on. 
The Voleurs, after about three minutes' considera- 
tion, give up the point, and the carriage proceeds. 
If they had persisted, we should have shot some of 
them, being well armed. Mr. Hutton in a fuss ; his 
first emotion was to jump out and combat on foot ; 
59 



THE CONSPIRATOR IMPATIENT [1792 

very odd ! but his fear always comes on after the 
danger ; much more embarrassed in a quarter of 
an hour after than during the dialogue ; generally 
stout, and would have fought, but had rather let it 
alone ; glad we did not kill any of the villains, who 
seemed to be soldiers. Drive on to Kinnegad — 
another adventure ! The chaise breaks down at 
three in the morning ; obliged to get out in the 
mud, and hold up the chaise with my body, whilst 
the boy puts on the wheel ; all grease and puddle ; 
melancholy ! Arrive at Kinnegad at past four ; 
bad hours ! 

6th. Arrive late at Ballinasloe, and get beds with 
great difficulty. Meet Mr. Larking, the parish 
priest, a sad, vulgar booby, but very civil to the 
best of his knowledge. Mr. Hutton falls asleep in 
company. Victuals bad ; wine poisonous ; bed 
execrable ; generally badly off; fall asleep in spite 
often thousand noises ; wish the gentleman over my 
head would leave off the bagpipes, and the gentle- 
men who are drinking in the next room would 
leave off singing, and the two gentlemen who are in 
bed together in the closet would leave off snoring ; 
sad, sad. All quiet at last, and be hanged ! 

8th. Breakfast, more beafsteak and onions. Go 
gentle gales. Fragrant and pretty. Go and see the 
fair ; great show of bullocks. The greatest cattle 
fair in Europe, except one in Hungary, as T. B. 
tells me. Glad that I have seen it as matter of 
curiosity, but, on the whole, disappointed, as every 
Co 



1792] WHEEDLING THE GENTLEMEN 

man will be who expects extravagantly. About 
70,000 sheep sold. Go at three to meet the gentle- 
men of Galway and Mayo ; find a very respectable 
number assembled. Sir Thomas French takes the 
chair ; a fine young fellow, and of consequence 
among the Catholics de son pays. Bon ! Braughall 
makes a very long, rambling, diffuse, bad statement 
of the proceedings of the General Committee, and 
of the objects of our mission. Followed by Mr. 
Hutton ; not much better. That gentleman no 
great orator at a set speech, though he converses well 
enough. What is the reason ? Because he is, in 
fact, not only modest, but sheepish, which is a 
shame. Mr. Hutton had probably better talents, 
and, to a moral certainty, better education, and, 
beyond all question, more knowledge of the subject 
than any of his hearers, yet, after all, he made but a 
poor exhibition. However, it passed, but by no 
means satisfied that truly able gentleman. No 
speaking without much study and continual 
practice ; must try and mend, and get rid of that 
vicious modesty, which obscures the great splendour 
and brilliancy of his natural talents. Gog, in his 
digressive, rambling style, would have beaten Mr. 
Hutton all to nothing, which is a great shame to the 
latter gentleman. 

Retire early to my crib, and read Chesterfield's 

Letters, which has been my great resource against 

ennui. His lordship a damned scoundrel ; he 

advises his son to attack Madame De Blot, because 

61 



THE CONSPIRATOR IMPATIENT [1792 

she has been married a year and loves her husband. 
Damn his blood, the rascal ! I wish I was kicking 
him ! I do not pretend to more virtue than other 
people, but I have no notion of such cold-blooded 
villainy on deliberation. Till I read this infamous 
letter I thought the character of Valmont, in Les 
liaisons dangereuses, was a monstrous fiction, but I 
see now that Lord Chesterfield had the inclination, 
though perhaps not the talent, to be as great a 
scoundrel. All this is for the edification of P. P., 
and perhaps of my son, if he ever lives to be old 
enough to read these memorandums. He is now 
about a twelvemonth old, and it is time for me to 
begin to think of forming his mind and his principles. 
I will never advise him to debauch his friend's wife, 
only because she is such a fool as to love her husband. 
Base ! base ! I lose my temper at it. 

10th. No chaise yet. Our conscientious land- 
lady, Miss Culahaun, asks twelve shillings for a 
buggy to Athlone. Jew ! skinflint ! Fear we must 
take it after all, but determine to wait till twelve 
o'clock, and try for a place in the mail. Walk about 
the town as a crutch to poor T. B., who is lame. 
Strange curiosity of T. B. to read all manner of 
handbills. Mr. Hutton something in the same way. 
The mail arrives empty. Take our places and set 
off. No adventures. Arrive in Dublin at nine in 
the morning. 

14th. Dine with Magog : a good fellow ; 
much better than Gog. Gog a Papist. " Wine 
62 



1792] TONE ALL FOR FORCE 

does wonders." Propose to revive Volunteers in 
this city. Magog thinks we may have i ,000 Catho- 
lics by the 17th March next. Agreed that he shall 
begin to canvass for recruits immediately, and con- 
tinue through the winter. If he succeeds, he will 
resign his office of Secretary to the Catholic Com- 
mittee, and commence a mere Volunteer. Bravo ! 
All this looks well. Satisfied that volunteering will 
be once more the salvation of Ireland. A good 
thing to have 1,500 men in Dublin. Green uni- 
forms, etc. 

16th. Dr. Bellew, Catholic bishop of Killala, 
wants subscriptions to found a Catholic seminary 
in Connaught. Mr. Hutton suggests that it would 
be advisable to extend the plan, and educate all the 
Catholic clergy at home, an object which has long 
been a favourite with that gentleman. No doubt 
but many Protestants would subscribe for so wise 
and so benevolent a purpose ; the university, 
United Irishmen, etc. 

24th. See the Galway resolutions. Two of them 
very bad, reflecting on the French. This Lynch's 
nonsense. Cannot he let the French alone, and be 
damned ? Gog has been disgusted with Dr. 
Bellew, Catholic bishop of Killala, on the subject 
of a national college. The bishop wants to get 
money from the laity to endow it, and to exclude 
them from all share in the management. Damned 
kind ! Gog revolts like a fury, and tells Mr. 
Hutton he begins to see they (the Catholic bishops) 
63 



THE CONSPIRATOR IMPATIENT [179a 

are all scoundrels. All fair. Two or three things 
like this may cure Gog of his sneaking kindness for 
bishops, priests, and deacons. Sleep at Gog's. 

2$th. Mr. Hutton is decidedly of opinion that 
the Government of Ireland must either alter their 
whole system, or be subverted by force, of which 
God knows the event. The Catholics are so totally 
changed, and so thoroughly roused, etc. Knox 
and he agree there is no immediate danger of vio- 
lence on the part of the people, but that cbere is 
forming a gradual mass of discontent, which will, 
at no short day, break out, and especially if a war 
should arise, and that this discontent is inflamed 
and accelerated by the gross petulance and indis- 
cretion of Government here. This may probably 
be discussed without breaking, by such an arrange- 
ment as we meditate.— Sub-committee. Emmet * 
reads an address, as from the Catholics of Dublin, 
in reply to that of the Corporation. Very good. 
This turns the scale in favour of the meeting of the 
Catholics, and Gog will now be gratified with an 
opportunity of making a speech. " Hurry durry ! 
Nicky nacky ! " (See Venice Preserved.) Write an 
opinion for the Catholics of Down, as from the 
sub-committee, exhorting them to thank the people 
of Belfast, etc. 

26th. Denis Browne has been playing the rascal 
in Mayo. Procured a meeting on the 16th, and 
knocked up our plan by securing the measure of a 
* Thomas Addis Emmet, of course, not Robert. 

64 



1792] SEDITION 

separate petition from that county. Damn him ! 
Yet he talks of his love for the cause, #tc. The 
Catholics here in a horrible rage. More and more 
losing their respect for the brothers of Lords and 
Members of Parliament. 

27th. Meet the parochial delegates in the evening, 
and settle everything for the aggregate meeting of 
the Catholics of Dublin. Mr. Hutton reads the 
Citizen Emmet's paper, which meets the unani- 
mous approbation or the meeting. No wonder ! 
It is a most excellent paper, and better than Mr. 
Hutton's intended reply to the grand juries. " The 
dog has taken some of the very best strokes in my tragedy, 
and put them into his own comedy.' 7 

2%th. The town has been filled these three or 
four days with reports of some seditious paper said 
to be circulated among the soldiers of the garrison. 
I do not believe it. One officer, Colonel of the 
Royal Irish Artillery, is said to have been so wise as 
to draw up the regiment on the parade, and harangue 
them, exhorting them to obedience, and warning 
them against " The Rights of Man," etc. Dunce ! 
Blockhead ! Could not take a readier way to 
create the mischief against which he wished to 
guard. Another report is, that the artillery and 
all the cavalry are to be ordered to England and 
replaced by English troops. I hope this is a He too. 
These reports, however, show the agitation of the 
public mind. 

29$. Advertisements are this day handed about, 

(4,409) £ 5 y 



THE CONSPIRATOR IMPATIENT [1792 

ordering a general illumination on account of the 
expulsion of the German armies from France. I 
don't know what to think. The illumination is 
good, but it may be made a handle for rioting, and 
if so, very mischievous, for Government would 
rejoice at anything which would give them an ex- 
cuse to let the dragoons loose on the people. The 
illumination set on foot by Oliver Bond and James 
Tandy. We shall know all about it to-morrow. 

30th. The illumination had gone off quietly, 
notwithstanding the Lord Mayor issued a pro- 
clamation forbidding it, and threatening very hard, 
etc. The horse and foot were out in great force. 
It should seem, by their being called out so fre- 
quently, that Government are determined to ac- 
custom the people to see them in the streets. Emmet 
and I read over the Catholic address for the last 
time, and make corrections. N.B. — The said 
Emmet henceforward to be called " The Pismire." 
— S. Committee ; a very full meeting to settle the 
plan for to-morrow. Agreed that D. T. O'Brien 
shall take the chair ; said O'Brien refuses ; 
cowardly ! The chair offered to J. Ball ; he 
refuses also ; cowardly ! What would the Belfast 
people say if they saw this ? Fixed that old Bernard 
O'Neil shall be in the chair, and that Simon Maguirc 
shall be secretary. Mr. Hutton reads the address. 
D. T. O'Brien objects to the resolution thanking 
the Volunteers of Ulster, because it may look like 
cultivating the friendship of armed men. Nobody 
66 



1792] PROGRESS 

seconds him. R. McDonnell wishes we had 
100,000 of them to thank. Well done ! All 
embrace and depart. Divers Protestants summoned 
to the meeting to-morrow, Butler, Rowan, Tandy, 
the Pismire, Mr. Hutton, etc. Gog at home all day- 
rehearsing. All fair. This meeting will do good. 
Mr. Hutton chooses, for reasons which he does not 
wish to explain, to insert here the names of the 
present sub-committee of the Catholics of Ireland. 



Thomas Fitzgerald, 
John Keogh, 
Thomas Braughall, 
Edward Byrne, 
Randal McDonnell, 



Martin F. Lynch, 
Richard McCormick, 
Hugh Hamill, 
Dennis Thomas O'Brien, 
Thomas Warren, 



Thomas Ryan, M.D., John Sweetman, Secretary. 

October 31s*. The grand day. A full and re- 
spectable meeting, 640 summonses taken at the 
door, besides many who came in without any. 

November 1st. Dinner at Warren's. A long set 
of the chief United Irishmen. All very pleasant 
and good. Mr. Hutton endeavours, being entre 
deux viriSy to delude the gentlemen present into 
forming a volunteer company on good principles, 
civil and military. A. H. Rowan rises thereat, 
also Magog. Mr. Hutton a little mad on the sub- 
ject of volunteering ; would be a great Martinet 
" Army, damn me ! " 

2nd. Sick as Demogorgon ; purpose to leave 
ofFwatercresses with my bread. 
67 



THE CONSPIRATOR IMPATIENT [1792 

$th. Gunpowder Treason ! 

" This is the day, I speak it with sorrow, 
That we were all to've been blown up to- 
morrow." Rochester. 

Mr. Hutton, on his return from the post-office 
this evening, where he had been to put in a letter 
to P. P., is startled by a vision of Guy Vaux, which 
appears to him at Alderman Hart's door. Mr. 
Hutton speaks Latin to the said vision, on which it 
proves to be a policeman. Mr. Hutton diligently 
inspects the pantry, lest the Catholics might have 
conveyed combustibles therein, and so burn him 
and his innocent family in their beds. Wishes to 
have a fire-engine in his bedchamber, for fear of 
accidents from these bloody barbarous, and in- 
human Papists. 

1 of/*. Hear that Government is very much em- 
barrassed to know what to do. The Chancellor, 
we hear, talks big. If he attempts to use violent 
measures, I believe a war will be the inevitable 
consequence. My own conviction is that Govern- 
ment must concede. 

16th. Hear that the Castle-men say that our 
address to the King, if we persist in that idea, will 
embarrass his Majesty. The devil it will ! And 
who doubts it, or who cares ? We will address him, 
please God, and let him refuse it, if he pleases. Better 
that his Sacred Majesty should be embarrassed than a 
nation kept in slavery. More and more at work. 
68 



1792] FORCING THE GOVERNMENT 

ijth. In town, at the sub-committee. Read 
the intended address to the King. Very much 
liked, even by some of our timid people. Attended 
a meeting, for the purpose of raising a Volunteer 
corps : Present, Rowan, chairman ; Tandy, James 
Tandy, Dowling, Bacon, Bond, Warren, Magog, 
and Mr. Hutton, Secretary. Vote 1,000 men in 
ten companies ; cheap uniform, of coarse blue cloth, 
ticken trousers, and felt hats. Not to meddle with 
the existing corps, unless they choose to join us, in 
which case they must adopt our plan, principles, and 
regimentals. If this takes, it will vex the Castle, 
and they may not like to come and take our drum 
from us. Bond thinks the ci-devant Merchant Corps 
will present us with two field pieces. Huzza ! 
Huzza ! 

20th November. O'Beirne says the common 
people are up in high spirits, and anxious for the 
event. Bravo ! Better have the peasantry of one 
county than twenty members of Parliament. Gog 
seems to-day disposed for all manner of treason 
and mischief ; separation of the countries, etc. ; a 
republic, etc. ; is of the opinion this will not end 
without blows, and says he for one is ready. Is he ? 
Mr. Hutton quite prepared, having nothing to lose. 
Bravo ! Come to town to meet the committee 
for framing the new corps. The whole evening 
spent in settling the uniform, which is at last fixed 
to be that of the — Garde Nationale. Is that quite 
wise ? Who cares ? 

69 



THE CATHOLICS ADVANCE 

In December, 1792, the Irish Catholics met in 
Tailors* Hall, Back Lane, Dublin, to agitate for the 
parliamentary franchise. Tone's account follows. 

Account of the proceedings of the General Committee 
of the Catholics of Ireland; and of the delegation 
which presented their petition to the King. 

The last Catholic assembly which Ireland had 
seen was the Parliament summoned by James II. in 
1688, a body of men whose wisdom, spirit, and 
patriotism reflect no discredit on their country or 
their sect. The great object of this parliament was 
national supremacy. The patriots of the present 
day found their best claim to public regard on 
maintaining principles first advanced by an assembly 
to whose merits no historian has yet ventured to 
do justice, but whose memory, when passion and 
prejudice are no more, will be perpetuated in the 
hearts of their grateful countrymen. 

The proceedings of the General Committee fully 
70 



1792] A PETITION TO THE KING 

justified the foresight, and far surpassed the hopes, 
of those who had devised the measure. They felt 
and acted with the decision of men who deserved to 
be free, and with the dignity becoming the repre- 
sentatives of 3,000,000 of people. They therefore 
resolved that the meeting, as then constituted, with 
the Peers and Prelates, were the only organ com- 
petent to speak the sense of the Catholic body — a 
measure which wisdom and, indeed, necessity im- 
pelled them to adopt. 

The General Committee next resolved that a 
petition be prepared to his Majesty, stating the 
grievances of the Catholics of Ireland, and praying 
relief, and the members of the sub-committee were 
ordered to bring in the same forthwith, which, 
being done, and the petition read in the usual forms, 
it was again read, paragraph by paragraph, each 
passing unanimously, until the last. A spirited and 
intelligent member (Luke Teeling, Esq., of Lisburn, 
county Antrim), who represented a great northern 
county, then rose, and said, " That he must object 
to this paragraph, on the ground of its being limited 
in its demand." His instructions from his constitu- 
ents were to require nothing short of total eman- 
cipation ; and it was not consistent with the dignity 
of this meeting, and much less of the great body 
whom it represented, to sanction, by anything which 
could be construed into acquiescence on their part, 
one fragment of that unjust and abominable system, 
the penal code. 

71 



THE CATHOLICS ADVANCE [179a 

In this spirit the assembly met on the next day. 
The business was opened by the same member 
(L. Teeling) who had introduced the amendment. 
He stated that it was the duty of the Catholics not 
to wrong themselves by asking less than complete 
emancipation. Such was the force of virtuous 
example, so powerful the effect of public spirit in 
an assembly, uncontaminated with places or pen- 
sions, and freely chosen by the people, that not a 
murmur of dissent was heard ; and a day which 
opened with circumstances of considerable doubt 
and anxiety terminated in the unanimous adoption 
of the great principle which, whilst it asserted, 
secured the emancipation of the Catholics. 

The petition having been thus agreed upon, and 
signed, the important question arose as to the mode 
of presenting it to his Majesty. The usual method 
had been, to deliver all former addresses to the Lord 
Lieutenant, who transmitted them to the King ; 
and, certainly, to break through a custom invariably 
continued from the first establishment of the General 
Committee, was marking, in the most decided 
manner, that the Catholics had lost all confidence 
in the administration of this country. But, strong 
as this measure was, it was now to be tried. By 
passing over the administration of their country, 
in a studied and deliberate manner, and on solemn 
debate, the General Committee published to all the 
world that his Majesty's ministers in Ireland had so 
far lost the confidence of no less than 3,000,000 of 
72 



1792] THE " HUMBLE " CATHOLICS 

his subjects, that they were not even to be entrusted 
with the delivery of their petition. A stigma more 
severe it has not been the fortune of many adminis- 
trations to receive. 

The General Committee (Dec. 7th) proceeded 
to choose, by ballot, five of their body, who should 
present their petition to his Majesty in person, and 
the gentlemen appointed were Edward Byrne, 
John Keogh, Christopher Dillon Bellew, James 
Edward Devereux, and Sir Thomas French. The 
only instruction they received was to adhere strictly 
to the spirit of the petition, and to admit nothing 
derogatory to the union, which is the strength of 
Ireland. And this instruction, for greater solem- 
nity, was delivered to them, engrossed on vellum, 
signed by the Chairman, and countersigned by 
the Secretary of the meeting. 

On the arrival of the delegates in London, their 
first business was to apprise the Secretary for the 
Home Department (the Hon. H. Dundas) that they 
were deputed to present to the King the humble 
petition of the Catholics of Ireland, and they re- 
quested to know at what time they should attend 
him with a copy for his Majesty's persual. 

Wednesday, the 2nd of January, was fixed as the 
day of their introduction. On that day the dele- 
gates were introduced at St. James's in the usual 
forms by Mr. Dundas, and, agreeably to their 
instructions, delivered into the King's own hands 
the petition of his Catholic subjects of Ireland. 
73 



THE CATHOLICS ADVANCE [1792 

Their appearance was splendid, and they met with, 
what is called in the language of courts, a most 
gracious reception ; that is, his Majesty was pleased 
to say a few words to each of the delegates in his 
turn. In those colloquies the matter is generally 
of little interest, the manner is all ; and with the 
manner of the Sovereign the delegates had every 
reason to be content.* 

* This Convention was partly responsible for the final 
Catholic Relief Bill of 1793. The following entries in the 
Diary indicate the compromises inevitable in Keogh's method 
of patient agitation. With this Relief Bill was passed the 
notorious Convention Act which so hampered O'Connell all 
through his career. It forbade meetings of delegates from 
other oodies to meet in a body " under the pretence " of pre- 
paring such petitions. O'Connell maintained that Emancipa- 
tion might have been gained in 1793. Actually, an amendment 
proposed that Catholics be allowed to sit in Parliament (as it 
was, they could vote only for Protestants), but it was rejected 
by an enormous majority. 



74 



VI 

THE CATHOLICS RETREAT 

January 21st. In the sub-committee, Sir T. 
French, Byrne, Keogh, and McDonnell de- 
spatched to Hobart to apprise him that nothing 
short of unlimited emancipation will satisfy the 
Catholics. They return, in about an hour, 
extremely dissatisfied with each other, and, after 
diverse mutual recriminations, it appears, by the 
confession of all parties, that, so far from dis- 
charging their commission, they had done directly 
the reverse ; for the result of their conversation 
with the Secretary was, that he had declared 
explicidy against the whole measure, and they had 
given him reason, in consequence, to think that the 
Catholics would acquiesce contentedly in a half one. 
Sad, sad ! And so Gog's puffing is come to this : 
I always thought, when the crisis arrived, that he 
would be shy, and I am more and more confirmed 
in that idea by every new incident. Magog, the 
single man who was up to the business properly : 
H. Hamill next best. Gog damped them by puff- 
ing his readiness for one to face any danger which 
75 



THE CATHOLICS RETREAT [1793 

might ensue from a strong representation. Owen 
O'Connor asserted that he was ready too, upon 
which Gog asked him, Was he prepared to enter 
the tented field ? He answered " He was." Now 
the fact is, the question was put to frighten Ned 
Byrne ; and another fact is, that O'Connor was 
ready, and Gog was not. He is a sad fellow after 
all. I see, if ever the business is done, it will be by 
the country gendemen. 

January 24th. What does Gog want them to do 
this morning ? Only to alter the prayer of the 
petition to Parliament, by striking out the part 
which mentions, in terms, a repeal of the penal laws, 
and to leave it general, according to the form of 
that presented to the King ; and this wise and 
valiant proposal comes after we have put Hobart 
in possession of a copy of our intended petition. 
The Sub-committee unanimously reject the pro- 
position. 

January 26th to 31st. A deputation has been with 
Hobart again, as to the presenting the petition. He 
objects to the prayer as being too specific. He is 
asked if it be altered to the very words of that 
presented to the King, will he then present and 
support it. 

Sub-committee. After sundry debates for two 
or three days, the prayer of the petition is altered to 
Gog's mind. I am clear he is wrong. 

February 4th. Hobart presented the petition, and 
moved for leave to bring in a bill, which is granted. 
76 



1793] THE CATHOLICS RETREAT 

The measure of relief intended, as chalked out by 
him, is as follows : The elective franchise. Magis- 
tracies. Right of endowing schools. Admissibility 
to corporations. Right of carrying arms, subject 
to modification. Civil offices, subject also to modi- 
fication ; but we shall see more when the bill is 
introduced, and still more when it is carried. The 
points withheld are : The Two Houses of Parlia- 
ment. The Bench, and the Board of Commis- 
sioners of the Revenue. The last two are nonsense. 
There is no need for an Act of Parliament to do 
what the King can do of himself, and it establishes a 
principle of exclusion, which ought to be kept out 
of sight as much as possible. Will the Catholics 
be satisfied with this bill ? I believe they will, and 
be damned ! 

February 8th. It is observable that last night 
20,000 army and 16,000 militia were voted by the 
House of Commons, and that Opposition, and 
particularly Grattan, were as earnest in the measure 
as the Treasury Bench. They are a fine set, to be 
sure, altogether. Grattan dreads the people as much 
as Monck Mason. A long conversation amongst 
the Catholics on the point of declaring themselves 
satisfied, or not, with Hobart's bill. For satisfaction, 
Sir Thomas French, Bellew, Byrne, O'Connor, 
and Keogh : against it, O'Gorman, Sweetman, 
McCormick, and James Plunket. This is as im- 
portant a crisis as any which has occurred in 
Catholic affairs. 

77 



VII 

TO AMERICA AND FRANCE 

I hasten to the period * when, in consequence of 
the conviction of WilHam Jackson, for high treason, 
I was obliged to quit my country, and go into 
exile in America. A short time before my de- 
parture, my friend Russell being in town, he and 
I walked out together, to Rathfarnham, to see 
Emmet, who has a charming villa there. He 
showed us a little study, of an elliptical form, 
which he was building at the bottom of the lawn, and 
which he said he would consecrate to our meetings, 

*The Diary, it will be seen, has halted in February 1793 
(see the Introduction for reference to the intervening event), 
just as Tone's opinions are developing along the lines of a 
physical force resistance to English power. Writing this portion 
of the Autobiography in France, he links up the narrative to 
the point where he arrives at Havre, a fully-fledged revolu- 
tionary, the accredited representative of the now thoroughly 
illegal and rebellious United Irishmen. They had been raided 
by the police in May '94, after Jackson's arrest ; dispersed, they 
reorganized as underground Republicans, changing their 
avowed aims from the ■ equal representation of the people in 
Parliament " to "a full representation of all the people of 
Ireland," which their leaders interpreted in the separatist sense, 
and the members were encouraged to interpret in the same 
way. 

78 



1795] FAREWELLS 

if ever we lived to see our country emancipated. 
I begged of him, if he intended Russell should be 
of the party, in addition to the books and maps it 
would naturally contain, to fit up a small cellaret, 
which should contain a few dozens of his best old 
claret. He showed me that he had not omitted 
that circumstance, which he acknowledged to be 
essential, and we both rallied Russell with consider- 
able success. I mention this trifling anecdote be- 
cause I love the men, and because it seems now at 
least possible that we may yet meet again in Emmet's 
study. As we walked together into town I opened 
my plan to them both. I told them that I consid- 
ered my compromise with Government* to extend 
no further than the banks of the Delaware, and that 
the moment I landed I was free to follow any plan 
which might suggest itself to me, for the emancipa- 
tion of my country ; that, undoubtedly, I was guilty 
of a great offence against the existing Government ; 
that, in consequence, I was going into exile ; and 
that I considered that exile as a full expiation for the 
offence, and consequently felt myself at liberty, 

* From April 1794, when Jackson was taken, to April 1795, 
when he was brought up for sentence, Tone was in a parlous 
position. Several United Irishmen had been arrested, including 
Hamilton Rowan, who escaped and fled to France, thence to 
America (where, as Tone records, the two met), and Tone 
might well have been charged also. He let it be known that 
he would neither fly nor give evidence against his friends, but 
would, in his own time, retire to America. He was not 
molested, and he did retire. There was no bond ; but there 
was, as he saw it, a promise in the nature of a " compromise." 

79 



TO AMERICA AND FRANCE [1795 

having made that sacrifice, to begin again on a 
fresh score. They both agreed with me in those 
principles, and I then proceeded to tell them that 
my intention was, immediately on my arrival in 
Philadelphia, to wait on the French Minister, to 
detail to him, fully, the situation of affairs in Ire- 
land, to endeavour to obtain a recommendation to 
the French Government, and, if I succeeded so far, 
to leave my family in America, and to set off in- 
stantly for Paris, and apply, in the name of my 
country, for the assistance of France, to enable us 
to assert our independence. It is unnecessary, I 
believe, to say that this plan met with the warmest 
approbation and support from both Russell and 
Emmet ; we shook hands, and, having repeated 
our professions and unalterable regard and esteem 
for each other, we parted ; and this was the last 
interview which I was so happy as to have with 
those two invaluable friends together. I re- 
member it was in a little triangular field that 
this conversation took place ; and Emmet re- 
marked to us that it was in one exactly like it 
in Switzerland, where William Tell and his 
associates planned the downfall of the tyranny of 
Austria. The next day Russell returned to Belfast. 
Having paid all my debts, and settled with every- 
body, I set off from Dublin for Belfast on the 20th 
May, 1795, with my wife, sister, and three children, 
leaving, as may well be supposed, my father and 
mother in a very sincere affliction. My whole 
80 






1795] ON CAVE HILL 

property consisted in our clothes, my books, and 
about ^700 in money and bills on Philadelphia. 
During near a month that we remained there, we 
were every day engaged by one or other ; even 
those who scarcely knew me were eager to enter- 
tain us ; parties and excursions were planned for 
our amusements ; and certainly the whole of our 
deportment and reception at Belfast very little 
resembled those of a man who escaped with his 
life only by miracle, and who was driven into 
exile to avoid a more disgraceful fate. I remember, 
particularly, two days that we passed on the Cave 
hill. On the first, Russell, Neilson, Simms, 
McCracken, and one or two more of us, on the 
summit of M'Art's fort, took a solemn obligation 
— which, I think I may say I have, on my part, 
endeavoured to fulfill — never to desist in our efforts 
until we had subverted the authority of England 
over our country, and asserted our independence. 
Another day we had the tent of the first regiment 
pitched in the Deer Park, and a company of thirty 
of us, including the family of the Simms, Neilsons, 
McCrackens, and my own, dined and spent the 
day together deliciously. At length the hour of 
our departure arrived. On the 13 th of June we 
embarked on board the Cincinnatus of Wil- 
mington, Capt. James Robinson, and I flatter 
myself we carried with us the regret of all who 
knew us. Before my departure I explained to 
Simms, Neilson, and C. G. Teeling my intentions 

(4,409) g j g 



TO AMERICA AND FRANCE [1795 

with regard to my conduct in America, and I had 
the satisfaction to find it met, in all respects, 
with their perfect approbation ; and I now 
looked upon myself as competent to speak fully 
and with confidence for the Catholics, for the 
Dissenters, and for the Defenders of Ireland. 

We were now at sea, and at leisure to examine 
our situation. The captain was tolerably civil, the 
vessel was stout, and we had good weather almost 
the whole of our voyage. But we were 300 
passengers on board of a ship of 230 tons, and of 
course crowded to a degree not to be conceived 
by those who have not been on board a passenger 
ship. The slaves who are carried from the coast 
of Africa have much more room allowed them 
than the miserable emigrants who pass from Ireland 
to America ; for the avarice of the captains in that 
trade is such, that they think they never can load 
their vessels sufficiently, and they tr< »uble their heads 
in general no more about the accommodation and 
stowage of their passengers than of any other lumber 
aboard. Thirty days of our voyage passed over 
without any event, save the ordinary ones of seeing 
now a shoal of porpoises, now a shark, now a set 
of dolphins, the peacocks of the sea, playing about, 
and once or twice a whale. We had, indeed, been 
brought to, when about a week at sea, by the 
William Pitt, Indiaman, which was returning to 
Europe with about twenty other ships, under con- 
voy of four or five men-of-war ; but on examining 

82 



1795] LANDS IN AMERICA 

our papers they suffered us to proceed. At length, 
about the 20th of July, some time after we had 
cleared the banks of Newfoundland, we were 
stopped by three British frigates, the Thetis, Cap- 
tain Lord Cochrane, the Hussar, Captain Rose, and 
the Esperance, Captain Wood, who boarded us, and 
after treating us with the greatest insolence, both 
officers and sailors, they pressed every one of our 
hands, save one, and near fifty of my unfortunate 
fellow-passengers, who were most of them flying 
to America to avoid the tyranny of a bad govern- 
ment at home, and who thus most unexpectedly 
fell under the severest tyranny, one of them at 
least, which exists. As I was in a jacket and trousers, 
one of the lieutenants ordered me into the boat, as 
a fit man to serve the king, and it was only the 
screams of my wife and sister which induced him 
to desist. It would have been a pretty termination 
to my adventures if I had been pressed and sent on 
board a man-of-war. 

On the 30th of July we made Cape Henlopen; the 
31st we ran up the Delaware, and the 1st of August 
we landed safe at Wilmington, not one of us pro- 
videntially having been for an hour indisposed on 
the passage, nor even sea-sick. Those only who have 
had their wives, their children, and all, in short, that 
is dear to them, floating for seven or eight weeks at 
the mercy of the winds and waves, can conceive 
the transport I felt at seeing my wife and our dar- 
ling babies ashore once again in health and in safety. 

83 



TO AMERICA AND FRANCE [1795 

We set up at the principal tavern, kept by an Irish- 
man, one Captain O'Byrne O'Flynn (I think), for 
all the taverns in America are kept by majors and 
captains, either of militia or continentals, and in a 
few days we had entirely recruited our strength and 
spirits, and totally forgotten the fatigues of the 
voyage. 

Immediately on my arrival in Philadelphia, which 
was about the 7th or 8th of August, I found out my 
old friend and brother exile, Dr. Reynolds, who 
seemed, to my very great satisfaction, very com- 
fortably settled. From him I learned that Hamilton 
Rowan had arrived about six weeks before me from 
France, and that same evening we all three met. It 
was a singular rencontre, and our several escapes from 
an ignominious death seemed little short of a 
miracle. 

Rowan offered to come with me and introduce 
me to the Minister, Citizen Adet, whom he had 
known in Paris ; but I observed to him that as there 
were English agents without number in Philadelphia 
he was most probably watched, and consequently 
his being seen to go with me to Adet might materi- 
ally prejudice his interests in Ireland. I therefore 
declined his offer, but I requested of him a letter of 
introduction, which he gave me accordingly, and 
the next day I waited on the Minister, who received 
me very politely. He spoke English very imper- 
fectly, and I French a great deal worse ; however, 
we made a shift to understand one another ; he 

84 



1795] ALMOST BECOMES A FARMER 

read my certificates and Rowan's letter, and he 
begged me to throw on paper, in the form of a 
memorial, all I had to communicate on the subject 
of Ireland. This I accordingly did in the course of 
two or three days, though with great difficulty, on 
account of the burning heat of the climate, so differ- 
ent from what I had been used to, the thermometer 
varying between ninety and ninety-seven. At 
length, however, I finished my memorial, such 
as it was, and brought it to Adet, and I offered him, 
at the same time, if he thought it would forward 
the business, to embark in the first vessel which 
sailed for France ; but the Minister, for some reason, 
seemed not much to desire this, and he eluded my 
offer by reminding me of the great risk I ran, as the 
British stopped and carried into their ports indis- 
criminately all American vessels bound for France ; 
he assured me, however, I might rely on my 
memorial being transmitted to the French Govern- 
ment, and backed with his strongest recommenda- 
tions ; and he also promised to write particularly to 
procure the enlargement of my brother Matthew, 
who was then in prison at Guise : all which I have 
since found he faithfully performed. 

I had now discharged my conscience as to my 
duty to my country ; and it was with the sincerest 
and deepest contristation of mind that I saw this, 
my last effort, likely to be of so little effect. It was 
barely possible, but I did not much expect that the 
French Government might take notice of my 
85 



TO AMERICA AND FRANCE [1795 

memorial, and if they did not there was an end of 
all my hopes. I now began to endeavour to bend 
my mind to my situation, and made divers excur- 
sions on foot and in the stage-waggons in quest of 
a farm. At length I agreed with a Captain Leonard 
for a plantation of 180 acres, beautifully situated 
within two miles of Princeton, and half of it under 
timber. I was to pay .£1,180 currency, and I be- 
lieve it was worth the money. I moved, in con- 
sequence, my family to Princeton, where I hired a 
small house for the winter, which I furnished frugally 
and decently. I fitted up my study, and began to 
think my lot was cast to be an American farmer. 

For myself I believe I could have borne it, and 
for my wife it was sufficient to her that I was 
with her, her incomparable firmness of mind and 
never-failing equanimity of temper sustaining her 
and me also, whose happiness depended solely on 
hers under every difficulty. But when we looked 
on our little children, we felt both of us our courage 
fail. Our little boys we could hardly bear to think 
of rearing in the Boorish ignorance of the peasants 
about us, and to what purpose give them an educa- 
tion that could only tend to discontent them with 
the state wherein they were thrown, and wherein 
learning and talents were useless ? But especially 
our little girl, now eight or nine years old, 
was our principal uneasiness. How could we 
bear to see her the wife of a clown without 
delicacy or refinement, incapable to feel or esti- 

86 



1795] ALMOST BECOMES A FARMER 

mate the value of a mind which had already 
developed the strongest marks of sensibility and 
tenderness. For my part the idea tormented me 
beyond enduring, and I am sure no unfortunate 
lover, in the paroxysms of jealousy, ever looked 
forward with horror to the union of his mistress 
with a rival than I did to the probability of seeing 
my darling child sacrificed to one of the Boors 
by whom we were surrounded. I could better 
bear to see her dead, for with regard to the delicacy 
and purity of woman I entertain notions perhaps 
extravagant in their refinement.* 

But to return. In this gloomy frame of mind 
I continued for some time, waiting for the lawyer 
who was employed to draw the deeds, and ex- 
pecting next spring to remove to my purchase 
and to begin farming at last, when one day I 
was roused from my lethargy by the receipt of 
letters from Keogh, Russell, and the two Simmses, 
wherein, after professions of the warmest and sin- 
cerest regard, they proceeded to acquaint me that 
the state of the public mind in Ireland was advanc- 
ing to republicanism faster than even I could believe; 
and they pressed me, in the strongest manner, to 
fulfil the engagement I had made with them at my 
departure, and to move heaven and earth to force 
my way to the French Government in order to 
supplicate their assistance. I set off, accordingly, 
the next morning (it being this time about the end 

* This paragraph was suppressed by Tone's son. 

87 



TO AMERICA AND FRANCE [1795 

of November) for Philadelphia, and went, immedi- 
ately on my arrival, to Adet, to whom I showed the 
letters I had just received, and I referred him to 
Rowan, who was then in town, for the character 
of the writers. I had the satisfaction, contrary to 
my expectations, to find Adet as willing to forward 
and assist my design now, as he seemed, to me at 
least, lukewarm when I saw him before, in August. 
He told me immediately that he would give me 
letters to the French Government, recommending 
me in the strongest manner, and also money to bear 
my expenses, if necessary. I thanked him most 
sincerely for the letters, but I declined accepting any 
pecuniary assistance. I drew on Simms for ^200, 
agreeable to his letter, ^150 sterling of which I 
devoted to my voyage ; my friend Reynolds pro- 
cured me Louis d'ors at the bank for £100 sterling 
worth of silver. I converted the remainder of my 
little property into bank stock, and having signed a 
general power of attorney to my wife, I waited 
finally on Adet, who gave me a letter in cypher 
directed to the Cotnite de Salut public, the only cre- 
dential which I intended to bring with me to France. 
I spent one day in Philadelphia with Reynolds, 
Rowan, and my old friend and fellow-sufferer, 
James Napper Tandy, who, after a long conceal- 
ment and many adventures, was recently arrived 
from Hamburgh, and, at length, on the 13 th Decem- 
ber, at night, I arrived at Princeton, whither Rowan 
accompanied me, bringing with me a few presents 

88 



1795-96] SAILS FOR FRANCE 

for my wife, sister, and our dear little babies. 
That night we supped together in high spirits, and 
Rowan retiring immediately after, my wife, sister, 
and I sat together till very late, engaged in that kind 
of animated and enthusiastic conversation which 
our characters and the nature of the enterprise I was 
embarked in may be supposed to give rise to. The 
courage and firmness of the women supported me, 
and them too, beyond my expectations ; we had 
neither tears nor lamentations, but, on the contrary, 
the most ardent hope and the most steady resolution. 
At length, at four the next morning, I embraced 
them both for the last time, and we parted with a 
steadiness which astonished me. On the ist Janu- 
ary, 1796, I sailed from Sandy Hook with nine 
fellow-passengers, all French, bound for Havre de 
Grace. We did not meet a single vessel of force, 
either French or English ; we passed three or four 
Americans bound mostly, like ourselves, to France. 
On the 27th we were in soundings at 85 fathoms ; 
on the 28th we made the Lizard, and, at length, on 
the ist of February, we landed in safety at Havre 
de Grace, having met with not the smallest accident 
during our voyage. My adventures, from this 
date, are fully detailed in the Diary which I have 
kept regularly since my arrival in France. 



89 



vin 

AMBASSADOR OF REPUBLICAN 
IRELAND 

February 2, 1796. I landed at Havre de Grace 
yesterday, after a rough winter passage from New 
York of thirty-one days. The town ugly and 
dirty, with several good houses in alleys, where it 
is impossible to see them. Lodged at the Hotel de 
Paix, formerly the Hotel of the Intendant, but 
reduced to its present state by the Revolution. 
" My landlord is civil, but dear as the devil. ,, Slept 
in a superb crimson damask bed ; great luxury, 
after being a month without having my clothes off. 

February yd. Rose early ; difficult to get break- 
fast ; get it at last ; excellent coffee, and very coarse 
brown bread, but, as it happens, I like brown bread. 
Walked out to see the lions ; none to see. Mass 
celebrating in the church ; many people present, 
especially women ; went into divers coffee-houses ; 
plenty of coffee, but no papers. No bread in two of 
the coffee-houses ; but pastry ; singular enough ! 
Dinner ; and here, as matter of curiosity, follows 
our bill of fare, which proves clearly that France is 
90 



1796] FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF FRANCE 

in a starving situation. An excellent soup ; a 
dish offish, fresh from the harbour ; a fore-quarter 
of delicate small mutton, like the Welsh ; a superb 
turkey, and a pair of ducks roasted ; pastry, cheese, 
and fruit after dinner, with wine ad libitum, but still 
the pain his ; provoked with the Frenchmen grumb- 
ling at the bread ; made a saying : Vive le pain 
bis et la liberie ! I forgot the vegetables, which were 
excellent ; very glad to see such unequivocal proofs 
of famine. Went to the Comedie in the evening ; 
a neat theatre, and a very tolerable company ; 
twenty performers in the orchestra ; house full ; 
several officers, very fine-looking fellows ; the 
audience just as gay as if there was no such thing as 
war and brown bread in the world. Supper just like 
our dinner, with wine, etc. N.B. — Finances. The 
louis worth 5,000 livres, or about two hundred 
times its value in assignats ; the six-franc-piece in 
proportion. My bill per diem, for such entertainment 
as above mentioned, is six francs (five shillings), 
and my crimson damask bed, 20 sols or tenpence ; 
coffee in the morning, 12 sols, or sixpence ; so that 
I am starving in the manner I have described for 
the enormous sum of 6s. 4d. a day ; sad ! sad ! 
Paid for my seat at the theatre, in the box next to 
that of the Municipality, 80 livres in assignats, or 
about fourpence sterling. Be it remembered, I 
lodge at the principal hotel in Havre, and I doubt 
not but I might retrench, perhaps one-half, by 
changing my situation ; but hang saving. 
9i 



AMBASSADOR OF REPUBLICAN IRELAND [1796 

February $th. A new arrangement with my land- 
lord ; I now pay 5s. a day for everything, including 
my crimson damask bed ; walk out ; every third 
man a soldier, or with something of the military 
costume about him. In the evening the Com6die ; 
Blaise and Babet, and the Rigueurs du Cloitre, a 
revolutionary piece ; applauses and honourable 
mention. I can account for the favourable re- 
ception of the latter piece, but the former is as great 
a favourite, though the fable is as simple as possible. 
Two lovers fall out about a nosegay and a ribbon, 
and, after squabbling through two acts, are recon- 
ciled at last, and marry. The sentiments and the 
music are pretty and pastoral, but what puzzles me 
is to reconcile the impression which the piece, such 
as I have described it, seemed to make on the audi- 
ence with the sanguinary and ferocious character 
attributed to the French. 

February 6th. It is very singular, but I have 
had several occasions already to observe that there 
is more difficulty in passing silver than paper. I 
have seen money refused where assignats have been 
taken currently. This is a phenomenon I cannot 
understand, especially when the depreciation is con- 
sidered. The republican silver is received with 
great suspicion. People have got it into their heads 
that it is adulterated, but, even so, surely it is worth, 
intrinsically, more than a bit of paper. So it is, 
however, that assignats are more current. 

February jth, Sunday. I was curious to observe 
92 



I79<5] SERIOUS AND OTHERWISE 

how this day would be kept in France. I believe 
nobody worked ; the shops were half open, half 
shut, as I have seen them on holidays in other 
countries ; everybody walking the streets. A 
vessel from Boston was wrecked last night within 
twenty yards of the Basin, and an unfortunate 
French woman lost, with two little children. She 
had fled to America early in the Revolution, and 
was now returning to her husband on the restora- 
tion of tranquillity. God Almighty help him ! 
She might have been saved alone, but preferred 
to perish with her infants : it is too horrible to 
think of. Oh, my babies, my babies, if your 
little bodies were sunk in the ocean, what should I 
do ? But you are safe, thank God ! Well, no 
more of that. Comedie again ; house quite full, 
being Sunday ; Mad. Rousselois principal singer ; 
just such another in person, age, manner, and voice, 
as the late Mrs. Kennedy, but a much better actress. 

February %th. An arrangement for Paris at last. 
An American has a hired coach, a very good one, 
and we, viz., D'Aucourt, my fellow-traveller, and 
I, are to pay one louis apiece for our seats, and bear 
two-thirds of the travelling expenses, post-horses, 
etc. 

February $th. Comedie as usual ; sad trash 
this evening ; a boy of fifteen in love and married ; 
introduced to his spouse by his nurse ; confined to 
his room by his papa, and let out in order to be 
married ; much fitter to peg a top or play marbles ; 
93 



AMBASSADOR OF REPUBLICAN IRELAND [1796 

yet the audience did not seem to feel any incon- 
gruity, though, to heighten the absurdity, his lover 
was Madame Rousselois, a fat woman of forty. 
It was excessively ridiculous to see her and the 
" Amoureux de quinze aus " together, and to hear 
her singing " Lindor a su me plaire." She was 
easily pleased. The dresses at the theatre of Havre 
are handsomer and better appointed than I have 
seen anywhere, except at London, which is wonder- 
ful, considering it is but a small seaport town, and 
more so when one reflects on the price of admis- 
sion. I suspect the Government must assist them, 
or I am sure they could not live on the receipts ; if 
so, it is an additional trait in the resemblance of 
character between the French and Athenians, which 
is most striking. 

February 10th. Up at five o'clock ; a choice 
carriage lined with blue velvet ; five horses ; a 
French postillion, a most grotesque figure — cocked 
hat and jacket, two great wisps of straw tied on his 
thighs, and a pair of jack-boots, as big as two Ameri- 
can churns. " Their horses (chevauxes they call them) 
bent quite so nimble as ourn" Set off for Paris. 
Huzza ! The country flat and amazingly popu- 
lous ; the houses of the peasantry scattered as thick 
as they can he, about a mean between an English 
cottage and an Irish cabin, or hovel ; but if the 
house be inferior, there is an appearance in the spot 
of ground about far beyond what I have seen in 
England. Every cottage stands in the middle of a 
94 



1796] EXPENSES MOUNT 

parallelogram of perhaps an acre or two, which is 
planted with trees, and I suppose includes their 
potagerie, etc. ; the quantity of wood thus scattered 
over the face of the country is immense, and has a 
beautiful effect ; every foot of ground seems to me 
under cultivation, so there will be no starving, 
please God, this year. France, D'Aucourt says, in 
a good year, grows one-third more than she con- 
sumes. No enclosures, but all the country open ; 
excepting that circumstance, not unlike Yorkshire, 
which I look upon as the finest part of England ; 
an orchard to every cottage, besides rows of apple 
trees, without intermission, by the roadside. Why 
might it not be so in other countries whose climate 
differs but very little from that of Normandy ? 
Think of this. 

February 12th. A most blistering bill for supper, 
etc. In great indignation, and the more so, because 
I could not scold in French. Passion is eloquent, 
but all my figures of speech were lost on the land- 
lord. If this extortion resulted from any scarcity, 
I would submit in silence ; but it is downright 
villainy. Well, " 'Tis but in vain" literally. Set 
off in a very ill humour, but soon reconciled to my 
losses by the smiling appearance of the country. 
Still flat, and richly cultivated. Breakfast at Pont- 
oise. The serenity of my temper, which I had 
just recovered, ruffled completely by a second bill. 
" Landlords have flinty hearts ; no tears can move 
them" This comes of riding in fine carriages, with 
95 



AMBASSADOR OF REPUBLICAN IRELAND [1796 

velvet linings ! We are downright Milords Anglais, 
and they certainly make us pay for our titles. Our 
dinner was a soup, roast fowl, fried carp, salads of 
two kinds, a bottle of Burgundy, coffee after dinner, 
and a glass of liqueur, with excellent bread — (I 
forgot, we had cauliflowers and sauce) — and our 
bill for the whole, wine and all, was 1,500 livres, in 
assignats, which, at the present rate (the Louis being 
6,500 livres), is exactly 4s. 7xtcL sterling. What 
would I have given to have had P. P. with me ! 
Indeed we would have discussed another bottle of 
the Burgundy, or, by'r Lady, some two or three. — 
" The rogue has given me medicines to make me love 
him. Yes ! I have drank medicines." I wish to God 
our bill of fare was posted on the Royal Exchange, 
for John Bull's edification. 

February 13th. From Havre to Paris is 160 miles, 
or thereabouts. We lay two nights on the road. 
We were charged once or twice extravagantly. 
Agree to keep close for a day or two, until we get 
French clothes made, and then pay my first visit 
to Monroe (the American Ambassador), and deliver 
my letters. In the meantime to make inquiries. 
The Directoire Executif have presented General 
Jourdan * with six horses, magnificently caparisoned, 
a sword, and a case of pistols. What a present for 

*Jcan Baptiste Jourdan (1762-183 3) had distinguished him- 
self in 1794 by driving the Austrians across the Rhine. Less 
successful afterwards, he handed over his command to Massena. 
Under Napoleon he became Governor of Naples in 1806. 
Louis XVIII. made him a peer. 

96 



1796] IN PARIS— THE OPERA 

a Republican General ! I observe they have given 
nothing to Pichegru.* It looks odd that he should 
be passed over. Do they intend to fix the public 
attention on Jourdan ? Mind this. I should be 
sorry if Pichegru were thrown into the shade. In 
the evening, at the Grand Opera, Theatre des Arts, 
Iphigenie. The acting admirable, but the singing 
very inferior to that of the Haymarket. The French 
cannot sing like the Italians. Agamemnon excel- 
lent. Clytemnestra still better. Achilles abomin- 
able, and more applauded than either of them. 
Sung in the old French style, which is most detest- 
able, shaking and warbling on every note ; vile ! 
vile ! vile ! The others sung in a style sufficiently 
correct. The ballet, L'Offrande a la Liberie, most 
superb. In the centre of the stage was the Statue 
of Liberty, with an altar blazing before her. She 
was surrounded by the characters in the opera, in 
their beautiful Grecian habits. The civic air, 
" Veillons au salut de I'Empire," was sung by a 
powerful bass, and received with transport by the 
audience. Whenever the word " esclavage " was 
uttered, it operated like an electric shock. The 
Marseillaise Hymn was next sung, and produced 

* Charles Pichegru (1761-1804) succeeded Jourdan in '94 
in the army of the North and became the conqueror of Holland 
in '95 ; the same year he was disgraced for deliberately allowing 
Jourdan to be defeated in a battle, and retired. Devoted to 
Louis XVIII. , he intrigued on his behalf while president of the 
Cinq Cents, and was deported to Cayenne. He conspired 
against Napoleon, was arrested, and took his own life. 

(4,409) gj 9 



AMBASSADOR OF REPUBLICAN IRELAND [1796 

still greater enthusiasm. At the word, " Aux armes 
citoyens I " all the performers drew their swords, 
and the females turned to them as encouraging 
them. Before the last verse there was a short pause, 
the time of the music was changed to a very slow 
movement, and supported only by the flutes and 
oboes ; a beautiful procession entered ; first little 
children like cherubs, with baskets of flowers ; 
these were followed by boys, a little more advanced, 
with white javelins (the Hasta pura of the ancients) 
in their hands. Then came two beautiful female 
figures, moving like the graces themselves, with 
torches blazing ; these were followed by four 
negroes, characteristically dressed, and carrying 
two tripods between them, which they placed 
respectfully on each side of the altar ; next came 
as many Americans, in the picturesque dress of 
Mexico, and these were followed by an immense 
crowd of other performers, variously habited, who 
ranged themselves on both sides of the stage. The 
little children then approached the altar with their 
baskets of flowers, which they laid before the god- 
dess ; the rest in their turn succeeded, and hung the 
altar and the base of the statue with garlands and 
wreaths of roses ; the two females with the torches 
approached the tripods, and, just touching them 
with the fire, they kindled into a blaze. The whole 
then knelt down, and all of this was executed in 
cadence to the music, and with a grace beyond 
description. The first part of the last verse, 
98 



1796] A MOVING SPECTACLE 

" Amour $acre de la patrie" was then sung slowly 
and solemnly, and the words " Liberie, Liberie, 
cherie" with an emphasis which affected me 
most powerfully. All this was at once pathetic 
and sublime, beyond what I had ever seen, or 
could almost imagine ; but it was followed by an 
incident which crowned the whole, and rendered 
it indeed a spectacle worthy of a free republic : 
At the words, " Aux armes, citoyens ! " the music 
changed again to a martial style, the performers 
sprung on their feet, and in an instant the stage 
was filled with National Guards, who rushed in 
with bayonets fixed, their sabres drawn, and their 
tricolour flag flying. It would be impossible to 
describe the effect of this. I never knew what 
enthusiasm was before, and what heightened it 
beyond all conception was, that the men I saw 
before me were not hirelings, acting a part ; they 
were what they seemed, French citizens flying to 
arms, to rescue their country from slavery. 



99 



IX 
TONE SETS TO WORK 

February 14th. Dined at a tavern in a room 
covered with gilding and looking-glasses down to 
the floor. Superb beyond anything I had seen. It 
was the Hotel of the Chancellor to the Duke of 
Orleans. 

February i$th. Went to Monroe's, the Am- 
bassador, and delivered in my passport and letters. 
Received very politely by Monroe, who inquired 
a great deal into the state of the public mind in 
America, which I answered as well as I could, and 
in a manner to satisfy him pretty well as to my own 
sentiments. I inquired of him where I was to de- 
liver my dispatches. He informed me, at the 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, and gave me his ad- 
dress. I then rose and told him that when he had 

read B 's letter (which was in cypher), he would, 

I hope, find me excused in taking the liberty to call 
again. He answered, he would be happy at all 
times to see me, and, after he had inquired about 
Hamilton Rowan, how he liked America, etc., I 
took my leave, and returned to his office for my 
100 



1796] THE FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER 

passport. The Secretary smoked me for an Irish- 
man directly. A la bonne heme. Went at three 
o'clock to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rue du 
Bacq, 471. Delivered my passport, and inquired 
for some one who spoke English. Introduced im- 
mediately to the Chef de Bureau, Lamare, a man of 
an exceedingly plain appearance. I showed my 
letter, and told him I wished for an opportunity to 
deliver it into the Minister's hands. He asked me, 
" would it not do if he took charge of it ? " I 
answered, he undoubtedly knew the official form 
best, but if it was not irregular, I should consider 
myself much obliged by being allowed to deliver 
it in person. He then brought me into a magnifi- 
cent antechamber, where a general officer and 
another person were writing, and, after a few 
minutes delay, I was introduced to the Minister, 
Charles de la Croix,* and delivered my letter, which 
he opened, and seeing it in cypher, he told me, 
in French, he was much obliged to me for the 
trouble I had taken, and that the Secretary would 
give me a receipt, acknowledging the delivery. I 
then made my bow and retired with the Secretary, 
the Minister seeing us to the door. He is a respect- 
able-looking man ; I should judge him near sixty, 
and has very much the air of a bishop. The Secre- 
tary has given me a receipt, of which the following 
is a translation : "I have received from Mr. James 
Smith, a letter addressed to the Committee of Public 
* Father of the painter Ferdinand Delacroix (1794 -1863). 
101 



TONE SETS TO WORK [1796 

Safety, and which he tells me comes from the citizen 
Adet, Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Re- 
public at Philadelphia, Paris, 26th Pluviose,* third 
year of the French Republic. The Secretary 
General of Foreign Affairs, Lamare." I have thus 
broken the ice. In a day or two I shall return for 
my passport. 

February 16th. Walked out alone to see sights. 
The Tuileries, the Louvre, Pontneuf, etc., superb. 
Paris a thousand times more magnificent than 
London, but less convenient for those who go 
afoot. The women ! only to think what a thing 
fashion is ! The French women have been always 
remarkable for fine hair, and therefore at present 
they all prefer to wear wigs. They actually roll 
and pin up their own beautiful tresses, so that they 
become invisible, and over them they put a little 
shock periwig. Damn their wigs ! I wish they 
were all burnt ; but it is the fashion, and that is a 
solution for every absurdity. 

February ijth. Went at one o'clock to the 
Minister's bureau for my passport. He told me, 
in French, that he had had the letter I brought 
deciphered, and laid instantly before the Directoire 
Executif, who considered the contents as of the 
greatest importance ; that their intentions were that 
I should go immediately to a gentleman, whom he 
would give me a letter to, and, as he spoke both 

* Fifth month of the calendar of the First Republic, from 
January 20th to February 18th or 19th. 
102 



1796] 



MADGETT 



languages perfectly and was confidential, that I 
should explain myself to him without reserve ; 
that his name was Madgett.* The costume of the 
Minister was singular ; I have said already that he 
had the presence of a bishop. He was dressed to- 
day in a grey silk robe de chambre, under which he 
wore a kind of scarlet cassock of satin, with rose- 
coloured silk stockings, and scarlet ribands in his 
shoes. I believe he has as much the manners of a 
gentleman as Lord Grenville. I mention these little 
circumstances because I know they will be inter- 
esting to her whom I prize above my life ten thou- 
sand times. There are about six persons in the 
world who will read these detached memorandums 
with pleasure ; to every one else they would appear 
sad stuff. 

February iSth. Breakfast at Madgett's. Long 
account, on my part, of the state of Ireland when 
I left it, which will be found substantially in such 
memoirs as I may prepare. Madgett assures me 
again that the Government here have their attention 
turned most seriously to Irish affairs ; that they feel 
that unless they can separate Ireland from England, 
the latter is invulnerable ; that they are willing to 



* Nicholas Madgett, born in Kinsale 1740, was employed 
at the French Foreign Office. His whole life was selflessly 
devoted to achieving Irish freedom through French aid. He 
is invariably confounded with a namesake (and relative), a 
priest and strong royalist, who came to Ireland about 1796 
as an English spy. See further, Ireland and Irishmen in the 
French Revolution, by Dr. Richard Hayes. 

IO3 



TONE SETS TO WORK [1796 

conclude a treaty offensive and defensive with Ire- 
land, and a treaty of commerce on a footing of 
reciprocal advantage ; that they will supply ten 
sail of the line, arms, and money, as he told me 
yesterday ; and that they were already making 
arrangements in Spain and Holland for that pur- 
pose. He asked me, did I think anything would 
be done in Ireland by her spontaneous efforts. I 
told him most certainly not ; that if a landing were 
once effected, everything would follow instantly, 
but that that was indispensable ; and I begged him 
to state this as my opinion to such persons in power 
as he might communicate with ; that if 20,000 
French were in Ireland, we should in a month have 
an army of 100,000, 200,000, or, if necessary, 3 00,000 
men, but that the point d'appui was indispensable. 
He said it appeared so to him also. He then re- 
turned to the scheme of importing stores, etc., 
through the medium of America. I again men- 
tioned the difficulty from the Gunpowder Act, and 
the risk of alarming the Irish Government. He 
said he still thought it would be possible, and men- 
tioned as a reason, that eighteen brass cannon had, 
to his knowledge, lately been smuggled to Ireland 
through Belfast. If this be true it surprises me not 
a little, but I rather judge Madgett is misinformed. 
I then mentioned the necessity of having a man of 
reputation at the head of the French forces, and 
mentioned Pichegru or Jourdan, both of whom are 
well known by character in Ireland. He told me 
104 



1796] A FURTHER MEMORIAL 

there was a kind of coolness between the Executive 
and Pichegru (this I suspected before), but that, if 
the measures were adopted, he might still be the 
General ; adding that he was a man of more talents 
than Jourdan. I answered, " either would do." 
He then desired me to prepare a memorial in form 
for the French Executive as soon as possible, which 
he would translate and have delivered in without 
delay. We fixed to dine together at his lodgings, 
and so parted. 

February i$th, igth, 20th. At work in the morn- 
ing at my memorial. Call on Madgett once a day 
to confer with him. He says there will be sent a 
person to Ireland immediately, with whom I shall 
have a conference ; and that it would be desirable 
he should bring back an appointment of Minister 
Plenipotentiary for me, in order to conclude an 
alliance offensive and defensive with the Republic ; 
in which case I should be acknowledged as such by 
the French Government. Certainly nothing could 
be more flattering to me ; however, I answered that 
such an appointment could not be had without 
communicating with so many persons as might 
endanger the betraying of the secret to the Irish 
Government. So there was an end to my appoint- 
ment. I must wait till the war at least is commenced, 
if ever it commences, or perhaps until it is over, if I 
am not knocked on the head meantime. I should 
like very well to be the first Irish Ambassador ; and 
if I succeed in my present business, I think I will have 
105 



TONE SETS TO WORK [1796 

some claim to the office. " Oh, Paris is a fine town 
and a very charming city." Iflreland were indepen- 
dent I could spend three years here with my family, 
especially my dearest love, very happily. I dare 
say P. P. would have no objection to a few months 
in the year a Vhotel cTlrlande. He is a dog. Indeed, 
we would discuss several bottles of diplomatic Bur- 
gundy. But all this is building castles in the air ; 
let me finish my memorials, which Madgett tells 
me this day, the 20th, the Minister has written to 
him about. I am glad of that impatience. He, 
Madgett, says if we succeed, it is part of the plan, 
but I believe he means his own plan, to demand 
Jamaica for Ireland, by way of indemnity. I wish 
we had Ireland without Jamaica. 

February 22nd. Finished my memorial, and de- 
livered a fair copy, signed, to Madgett for the 
Minister of Foreign Relations. Madgett in the 
horrors. He tells me he has had a discourse 
yesterday for two hours with the Minister, and 
that the succours he expected will fall very short 
of what he thought. That the marine of France 
is in such a state that Government will not hazard 
a large fleet ; and, consequently, that we must be 
content to steal a march. That they will give 2,000 
of their best troops, and arms for 20,000 ; that they 
cannot spare Pichegru nor Jourdan ; that they will 
give any quantity of artillery ; and, I think he 
added, what money might be necessary. He also 
said they would first send proper persons among 
106 



I79<5] 



FIRST CHECK 



the Irish prisoners of war, to sound them, and ex- 
change them on the first opportunity. To all this, 
at which I am not disappointed, I answered, that 
as to 2,000 men, they might as well send 20. That 
with regard to myself, I would go if they would 
send but a corporal's guard, but that my opinion 
was, that 5,000 was as little as could be landed with 
any prospect of success, and that that number would 
leave the matter doubtful ; that if there could be an 
imposing force sent in the first instance, it would 
overbear all opposition, the nation would be un- 
animous, and an immense effusion of blood and 
treasure would be spared ; the law of opinion would 
at once operate in favour of the Government, 
which, in that case, would be instandy formed ; 
and I pressed particularly the advantages resulting 
from that circumstance. He interrupted me to ask 
who was known in Ireland after Pichegru and 
Jourdan. I answered, Hoche, especially since his 
affair at Quiberon.* He said he was sure we might 
have Hoche. I also mentioned, that if they sent 
but 5,000 men, they should send a greater quantity 
of arms, as in that case we could not command, at 
once, all the arms of the nation, as we should if they 



* Louis Lazare Hoche (1768-97), one of the youngest of the 
Republican generals ; in the army since boyhood he suppressed 
the Vendean revolt at the age of twenty-six. He eventually 
did lead the expedition to Ireland, and afterwards resumed his 
successful career in '97. He died suddenly, as Tone records, 
September 18th of that year. Quiberon refers to Hoche's 
suppression of the Royalist insurgents there in 1795. 
IO7 



TONE SETS TO WORK [1796 

were able to send 20,000 or even 15,000. I added, 
diat as to the prisoners of war, my advice was to send 
proper persons among them, but not to part with a 
man of them, until the landing was effected, 
and then exchange them as fast as possible. He 
promised to represent all this, and that he hoped 
we would get 5,000 men at least, and a greater 
quantity of arms. We then parted. Now what 
is to be my plan ? Suppose we get 5,000 men, and 
30,000 or even 20,000 stand of arms and a train of 
artillery, I conceive, in the first place, the embarka- 
tion must be from Holland, but in all events the 
landing must be in the North, as near Belfast as 
possible. Had we 20,000, or even 15,000 in the 
first instance, we should begin by the capital, the 
seizing of which would secure everything ; but, as 
it is, if we cannot go large we must go close-hauled, 
as the saying is. With 5,000 we must proceed en- 
tirely on a revolutionary plan, I fear (that is to say, 
reckon only on the Sans-culottes) ; and, if necessary, 
put every man, horse, guinea, and potato in Ireland 
in requisition. I should also conceive that it would 
be our policy at first to avoid an action, supposing 
the Irish army stuck to the Government. Every 
day would strengthen and discipline us, and give us 
opportunities to work upon them. I doubt whether 
we could, until we had obtained some advantage 
in the field, frame any body that would venture to 
call itself the Irish Government, but if we could, it 
would be of the last importance. Hang those who 
108 



1796] CARNOT 

talk of fear ! With 5,000 men, and very strong 
measures, we should ultimately succeed. The only 
difference between that number and 20,000, is that, 
with the latter, there would be no fighting, and with 
this, we may have some hard knocks. " Ten 
thousand hearts are great within my bosom." I think 
I will find a dozen men who will figure as soldiers. 
O good God, good God ! what would I give to- 
night that we were safely landed, and encamped on 
the Cave Hill ! If we can find our way so far, I 
think we shall puzzle John Bull to work us out. 
Surely we can do as much as the Chpuans or people 
of La Vendee.* 

February 24th. Went at twelve o'clock, in a 
fright, to the Luxembourg ; conning speeches in 
execrable French, all the way : What shall I say to 
Carnot ? Well, " whatsoever the Lord putteth in my 
mouth, that surely shall I utter." Plucked up a spirit 
as I drew near the palace, and mounted the stairs 
like a Hon. Went into the first bureau that I found 
open, and demanded at once to see Carnot. f The 

* Tone, like a good soldier, has no prejudices. The Chouans 
(Breton for " screech-owl ") rose against the Republic, joining 
the Royalists at La Vendee. Smugglers to begin with, led by 
a smuggler, Jean Cottereau, they waged a guerrilla war against 
the Republic. Their numbers grew to an army of several 
thousands, led, when Cottereau was killed in an ambush, by 
George Cadoudal. Hoche crushed them at Quiberon, but a 
desultory resistance went on after that until Cadoudal was 
executed at Paris in 1804. Balzac's Les Chouans recaptures some 
of the fine spirit of the revolt, 

f Lazare N. M. Carnot (1753-1823), the great organizer of 
the Republic, a member of the National Assembly and the 
109 



TONE SETS TO WORK [1796 

clerks stared a little, but I repeated my demand 
with a courage truly heroic ; on which they in- 
stantly submitted, and sent a person to conduct me. 
This happened to be his day for giving audience, 
which each member of the Executive Directory does 
in his turn. Introduced by my guide into the ante- 
chamber, which was filled with people ; the officers 
of state, all in their new costume. Wrote a line in 
English and delivered it to one of the Huissiers, 
stating that a stranger just arrived from America 
wished to speak to citizen Carnot on an affair of 
consequence. He brought me an answer in two 
minutes that I should have an audience. The fold- 
ing doors were now thrown open, a bell being 
previously rung to give notice to the people, that 
all who had business might present themselves, and 
citizen Carnot appeared, in the petit costume of white 
satin with crimson robe, richly embroidered. It is 
very elegant, and resembles almost exactly the 
draperies of Van Dyke. He went round the room 
receiving papers and answering those who addressed 
him. I told my friend the Huissier, in marvellous 
French, that my business was too important to be 
transacted there, and that I would return on another 
day, when it would not be Carnot's turn to give 
audience, and when I should hope to find him at 
leisure. He mentioned this to Carnot, who ordered 

Committee of Public Safety, and at this time Minister of War. 
Again in 18 14, and yet again during the Hundred Days, he served 
the Republic magnificently. An officer of real genius, he well 
deserved the title of " organisateur de la victoire." 

110 



1796] 



THE CRUCIAL MEETING 



me instantly to be shown into an inner apartment, 
and that he would see me as soon as the audience was 
over. That I thought looked well, and began ac- 
cordingly to con my speech again. In the apart- 
ment were five or six personages, who being, like 
myself, of great distinction, were admitted to a 
private audience. I allowed them all precedence, 
as I wished to have my will of Carnot, and while 
they were in their turns speaking with him, I could 
not help reflecting how often I had wished for the 
opportunity I then enjoyed ; what schemes I had 
laid, what hazards I had run ; when I looked round 
and saw myself actually in the cabinet of the Execu- 
tive Directory, vis-a-vis citizen Carnot, the organizer 
of victory, I could hardly believe my own senses, and 
felt as if it were all a dream. However, I was not 
in the least degree disconcerted, and when I pre- 
sented myself, after the rest were dismissed, I had 
all my faculties, such as they were, as well at my 
command as on any occasion in my life. Why do 
I mention those trifling circumstances ? It is be- 
cause they will not be trifling in her eyes, for whom 
they were written. I began the discourse by saying, 
in horrible French, that I had been informed he spoke 
English. " A little, sir, but I perceive you speak 
French, and if you please, we will converse in that 
language." I answered, still in my jargon, that if 
he could have the patience to endure me, I would 
endeavour, and only prayed him to stop me when- 
ever I did not make myself understood. I then told 
in 



TONE SETS TO WORK [1796 

him I was an Irishman ; that I had been Secretary 
and Agent to the Catholics of that country, who 
were about 3,000,000 of people; that I was also in 
perfect possession of the sentiments of the Dissenters, 
who were at least 900,000, and that I wished to 
communicate with him on the actual state of Ire- 
land. He stopped me here to express a doubt as 
to the numbers being so great as I represented. I 
answered a calculation had been made within these 
few years, grounded on the number of houses, 
which was ascertained for purposes of revenue ; 
that, by that calculation, the people of Ireland 
amounted to 4,100,000, and it was acknow- 
ledged to be considerably under the truth. He 
seemed a little surprised at this, and I proceeded 
to state that the sentiments of all those people were 
unanimous in favour of France, and eager to throw 
off the yoke of England. He asked me then 
" What they wanted/ ' I said, " An armed force 
in the commencement, for a point d'appui, until they 
could organize themselves, and undoubtedly a 
supply of arms and some money." I added that I 
had already delivered in a memorial on the subject 
to the Minister of Foreign Relations, and that I was 
preparing another, which would explain to him, in 
detail, all that I knew on the subject, better than I 
could in conversation. He then said, " We shall 
see those memorials." The Organizer of Victory 
proceeded to ask me, " Were there not some strong 
places in Ireland ? " I answered I knew of none, 
112 



1796] IMPRESSING CARNOT 

but some works to defend the harbour of Cork. 
He stopped me here, saying, " Aye, Cork ! But 
may it not be necessary to land there ? " By which 
I had perceived he had been organizing a little 
already, in his own mind. I answered, I thought 
not. That if a landing in force were attempted, it 
would be better near the capital, for obvious reasons, 
if with a small army, it should be in the North, 
rather than the South of Ireland, for reasons which 
he would find in my memorials. He then asked 
me, " Might there not be some danger or delay 
in a longer navigation ? " I answered, it would 
not make a difference of two days, which was noth- 
ing in comparison of the advantages. I then told 
him that I came to France by direction and con- 
currence of the men, who (and here I was at a loss 
for a French word, with which, seeing my em- 
barrassment, he supplied me) guided the two great 
parties I had mentioned. This satisfied me clearly 
that he attended to and understood me. I added, 
that I had presented myself in August last, in Phila- 
delphia, to citizen Adet, and delivered to him such 
credentials as I had with me ; that he did not at 
that juncture think it advisable for me to come in 
person, but offered to transmit a memorial, which 
I accordingly delivered to him. That about the 
end of November last, I received letters from my 
friends in Ireland, repeating their instructions in the 
strongest mannner, that I should, if possible, force 

my way to France, and lay the situation of Ireland 
(4,409) II3 I0 



TONE SETS TO WORK [1796 

before its Government. That, in consequence, I 
had again waited on citizen Adet, who seemed 
eager to assist me, and offered me a letter to the 
Directoire Executif, which I accepted with grati- 
tude. That I sailed from America in the very first 
vessel, and was arrived about a fortnight ; that I had 
delivered my letter to the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs, who had ordered me to explain myself 
without reserve to citizen Madgett, which I had 
accordingly done. That by his advice I had pre- 
pared and delivered one memorial, on the actual 
state of Ireland, and was then at work on another, 
which would comprise the whole of the subject. 
That I had the highest respect for the Minister, and 
that as to Madgett, I had no reason whatsoever to 
doubt him, but, nevertheless, must be permitted to 
say that, in my mind, it was a business of too 
great importance to be transacted with a mere 
Commis. That I should not think I had discharged 
my duty, either to France or Ireland, if I left any 
measure unattempted which might draw the atten- 
tion of the Directory to the situation of the latter 
country ; and that, in consequence, I had presumed 
to present myself to him, and to implore his atten- 
tion to the facts contained in my two memorials. 
That I would also presume to request that, if any 
doubt or difficulty arose in his mind on any of those 
facts, he would have the goodness to permit me to 
explain. I concluded by saying that I looked upon 
it as a favourable omen that I had been allowed to 
114 



1796] THE INTERVIEW CLOSES 

communicate with him, as he was already perfectly 
well known by reputation in Ireland, and was the 
very man of whom my friends had spoken. He 
shook his head and smiled, as if he doubted me a 
little. I assured him the fact was so ; and, as a 
proof, told him that in Ireland we all knew, three 
years ago, that he could speak English ; at which 
he did not seem displeased. I then rose, and after 
the usual apologies, took my leave ; but I had not 
cleared the antechamber, when I recollected a very 
material circumstance, which was, that I had not 
told him, in fact, who, but merely what I was ; I 
was, therefore, returning on my steps, when I was 
stopped by the sentry, demanding my card ; but 
from this dilemma I was extricated by my lover 
the Huissier, and again admitted. I then told 
Carnot that, as to my situation, credit, and the 
station I had filled in Ireland, I begged leave to 
refer him to James Monroe, the American Ambas- 
sador. He seemed struck with this, and then for 
the first time asked my name. I told him, in fact, 
I had two names, my real one and that under which 
I travelled and was described in my passport. I 
then took a slip of paper, and wrote the name 
" James Smith, citoyen Americain, ,, and under it, 
" Theobald Wolfe Tone," which I handed him, 
adding that my real name was the undermost. He 
took the paper, and looking over it, said, " Ha ! 
Theobald Wolfe Tone," with the expression of one 
who has just recollected a circumstance, from which 
US 



TONE SETS TO WORK [1796 

little movement I augur good things. I then told 
him I would finish my memorial as soon as possible, 
and hoped he would permit me, in the course of a 
few days after, to present myself again to him ; to 
which he answered, " By all means " ; and so I 
again took my leave. Here is a full and true ac- 
count of my first audience of the Executive Direc- 
tory of France, in the person of citizen Carnot, the 
organizer of victory. I think I came off very clear. 
What am I to think of all this ? As yet I have 
met no difficulty nor check, nothing to discourage 
me, but I wish with such extravagant passion for 
the emancipation of my country, and I do so abhor 
and detest the very name of England, that I doubt 
my own judgment, lest I see things in too favourable 
a light. I hope I am doing my duty. It is a bold 
measure ; after all if it should succeed, and my 
visions be realized — Huzza ! Vive la Republique ! 
I am a pretty fellow to negotiate with the Directory 
of France, pull down a monarchy and establish a 
republic ; to break a connection of 600 years' 
standing and contract a fresh alliance with another 
country. " Byr Lakin, a parlous fear." What 
would my old friend Fitzgibbon say if he was 
to read those memorandums ? "He called me dog 
before he had a cause." I remember he used to say 
that I was a viper in the bosom of Ireland. Now 
that I am in Paris, I will venture to say that he lies, 
and that I am a better Irishman than he and his 
whole gang of rascals, as well as the gang who are 
116 



1796] A SPY? 

opposing him as it were. But this is all castle- 
building. Let me finish my memorial, and deliver 
it to the Minister. — Nothing but Minister and Direc- 
toires Executif and revolutionary memorials. 

February 2$th. Finish the draft of my second 
memorial, and read it over with Madgett. 

February 26th. This morning finished an awk- 
ward business, that is to say, wrote a long letter to 
the Minister, all about myself; very proper in an 
ambassador to frame his own credentials. My 
commission was large, for I made it myself. Read it 
over carefully ; every word true and not exagger- 
ated. Resolved to go at once to the Minister and 
deliver my letter, like a true Irishman, with my own 
hands. Went to his bureau and saw Lamare, the 
Secretary, whom I sent in to demand an audience. 
Lamare returned with word that the Minister was 
just engaged with Neri Corsini, Ambassador from 
the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and would see me the 
moment he was at leisure. Waited accordingly 
in the antechamber. A person came in, and after 
reconnoitring for some time, pulled out an English 
newspaper and began to read it. Looked at him 
with the most interesting indifference, as if he was 
reading a chapter in the Koran. Did the fellow 
think I would rise at such a bait as that ? Neri 
Corsini being departed, I was introduced, leaving 
my friend in the antechamber to study his news- 
paper. I assured him, as the fact was, that I kept 
the most rigid guard on myself; that I did not 
117 



TONE SETS TO WORK [1-796 

know a soul in Paris, nor desire to know any one ; 
that I formed no connections, nor intended to form 
any ; and that, in short, I kept myself purposely in 
solitude, that I might escape notice as much as 
possible. He said I was very right, and asked me, 
did I know the person I saw in the antechamber. 
I answered, I did not. He said he was an Irish 
patriot, named Duchet, as he pronounced it, who 
was persecuted into exile for some writing under 
the signature of Junius Redivivus. I said it might be 
so, but that I knew nothing of him, or of the 
writings, and that if such an event had taken place, 
it must have been since June last, when I left Ireland. 
I then mentioned the circumstance of his pulling 
out an English newspaper, and setting a trap for 
me therewith, and how I avoided falling into his 
snare. The Minister said again I was quite right, 
but that that person had delivered in several 
memorials on the state of Ireland. This is very 
odd ! I never saw the man in my life, and yet 
I rather imagine he knew my person. Who the 
devil is Junius Redivivus ? or who is Duchet, if his 
name be Duchet ? I must talk a little to Madgett of 
this resurrection of Junius, of whom, to speak the 
truth, I have no good opinion. He then produced 
a map of Ireland, and we looked over it together. 
I took this advantage to slide in some of my own 
ideas, by saying that if we were able to begin in 
considerable force, we should commence as near 
the capital as possible, the possession of which, if 
118 



1796] TONE FEELING HIS WAY 

once obtained, would, I thought, decide the whole 
business ; but, if we began with a smaller force, we 
should commence as near Belfast as we could, and 
then push forward, so as to secure the mountains 
of Mourne and the Fews, by means of which and 
of Lough Erne we could cover the entire province 
of Ulster, and maintain ourselves until we had 
collected our friends in sufficient force to penetrate 
to Dublin. He liked my plan extremely, which 
certainly appears to be the only feasible one, in 
case of a small force being landed. He also desired 
me to press Madgett to expedite the translations as 
much as possible, and, on the whole, certainly ap- 
peared to be nearly as earnest and anxious in the 
business as myself. I then took my leave. The 
result of this conversation, the principal circum- 
stances of which I have substantially related, is, that 
the Executive Directory at present are determined 
to take us up, but on a small scale ; that they will 
give us thirty pieces of cannon, properly manned, 
and twenty thousand stand of arms, with some 
money, of course, to begin with ; but I did not 
collect from the Minister that they had an idea of 
any definite number of troops, at least he mentioned 
none, and I did not press him on that head, as I wish 
they should first read and consider my memorials ; 
perhaps what is said in them may induce them to 
reconsider the subject ; and, if so, I shall have done 
a most important service both to France and Ire- 
land. 

119 



THE DELAYS BEGIN 

February i%th. Went to Monroe's about my 
passport, and had an hour's conversation with him ; 
I like him very much ; he speaks like a sincere re- 
publican ; he praises the Executive Directory to 
the skies, and Charles De la Croix ; all for the 
better. Carnot, he tells me, is a military man, and 
one of the first engineers of Europe. (Vide my 
observation touching his organizing about Cork 
harbour.) Le Tourneur is also a military man, so 
that, with Barras,* there are three soldiers in the 
Directoire. I am very glad of that. 

February 29th. I have now six days before me, 
and nothing to do ; huzza ! Dine every day at 
Beauvilliers for about half-a-crown, including a 
bottle of choice Burgundy, which I finish regularly. 

* Paul Jean F. N. Barras (175 5-1829), one of the most active 
partisans of the Revolution, a member of the Directory, a 
soldier, more than once virtual dictator at Paris, was outshone 
by Napoleon after the establishment of the Consulate. He was 
implicated in a conspiracy and exiled. After Waterloo he 
returned to France. 

120 



1796] DAY DREAMS 

Beauvilliers has a dead bargain of me for water ; 
I do not think I consume a spoonful in a week. A 
bottle of Burgundy is too much, and I resolve every 
morning regularly to drink but the half, and every 
evening regularly I break my resolution. I wish I 
had P. P. to drink the other half, and then perhaps 
I should live more soberly. Oh Lord ! Oh Lord ! 
Soberly. Yes, we should be a sober pair! "Patriots !" 
as Matty says.* Well, " It is the squire s custom every 
afternoon, as soon as he is drunk" to begin thinking of 
his wife and family. I have to be sure sometimes 
most delightful reveries. If I succeed in my busi- 
ness here, and ever return to Ireland, and am not 
knocked on the head, there will not be on earth so 
happy a circle as round my fireside. Well, huzza ! 
" I hope to see a battle yet before I die." 

March 6th. Madgett has not yet finished the 
translation ; hell ! hell ! 

March jth. We descended into the catacombs 
where were the cenotaphs of Voltaire, Rousseau, 
and, what interested me much more, of Dam- 
pierre,f who was killed at Famars. Certainly noth- 
ing can be imagined more likely to create a great 

* His wife. 

f It is interesting to note Tone's warm admiration for General 
Dampierre (Auguste Henri D., 1756-93), a thoroughly dashing 
but slightly irresponsible young soldier, whose name is associated 
with that of Doumouriez and the battle of Neerwinden, when 
the allies defeated the French. A picturesque, colourful figure, 
he was given the honours of the Pantheon by a populace which 
was not prevented by his lack of success from turning him into 
a heroic legend. 

121 



THE DELAYS BEGIN [1796 

spirit in a nation than a depository of the kind, 
sacred to everything that is sublime, illustrious, 
and patriotic. The French have, however, a little 
overshot the mark ; for they have had occasion 
already to displace two at least of their mighty 
dead ; I mean Marat,* whom I believe to have been 
a sincere enthusiast, incapable of feeling or remorse, 
and Mirabeau, whom I look upon to have been a 
most consummate scoundrel, f If we have a repub- 
lic in Ireland, we must build a Pantheon, but we 
must not, like the French, be in too great a hurry 
to people it. We have already a few to begin with : 
Roger O'Moore, Molyneux, Swift, and Dr. Lucas, 
all good Irishmen. 

March gth 9 10th. Strolling about : the Museum 
again, and the inimitable Magdalen of Le Brun : 
spent near an hour looking at it. 
March nth. Requisition ! Requisition ! Our 

*Jean Paul Marat (1743-93), the implacable enemy of the 
monarchy, the most bitter of the Jacobins, largely responsible 
for the massacres of September 1792. A physician of skill and 
the author of several political essays, he ruled the mob for a 
period, and they gave him, also, the honours of a national 
funeral when Charlotte Corday ended his career by stabbing 
him in his bath. 

f The reason for Tone's poor opinion of Mirabeau (1749-91) 
is not so easy to see ; he hardly disliked him solely for his 
morals. But there was nothing dashing about Mirabeau, whose 
fame rests on his work as an economist, a political philosopher, 
and an orator. (See his Lettres de Cachet, written while a prisoner 
at Vincennes, and Saint Beuve's essay of April 14, 1851 — a 
splendid tribute.) He was a man of extreme passions who tried 
to steer a middle course between the still more passionate 
extremes of his time. Tone's likes and dislikes are informative. 
122 



1796] PESTERING CARNOT 

independence must be had at all hazards. If the 
men of property will not support us, they must 
fall ; we can support ourselves by the aid of that 
numerous and respectable class of the community 
the men of no property. 

March 12th. Called on Madgett. He tells me 
that the business is going forward, but that the 
French Government is in the greatest difficulty for 
the want of money ; that the Executive Directory 
was, within these few days, on the point of resign- 
ing, and that they had signified to the Legislature 
that they would do so if they were not properly 
supported. I should be sincerely sorry if this were 
the case, as well for the sake of France as of Ireland, 
for I believe they are both able and honest. On 
the whole, I am not much delighted with our pres- 
ent prospects. 

March 14th. Went this day to the Luxembourg ; 
I have the luck of going on the days that Carnot 
gives audience, and of course is most occupied ; 
waited, however, to the last, when only one person 
remained besides myself. Carnot then called me 
over, and said, " You are an Irishman." I answered 
I was. " Then," said he, " here is almost a country- 
man of yours, who speaks English perfectly. He 
has the confidence of Government : go with him 
and explain yourself without reserve." I did not 
much like this referring me over ; however, there 
was no remedy ; so I made my bow, and followed 
my new lover to his hotel. He told me on the way 
123 



THE DELAYS BEGIN [1796 

that he was General Clarke * ; that his father was an 
Irishman ; that he had himself been in Ireland, and 
had many relations in that country ; he added (God 
forgive him if he exaggerated), that all the military 
arrangements of the Republic passed through his 
hands, and, in short, gave me to understand that he 
was at the head of the War Department. By this 
time we arrived at the hotel where he kept his 
bureau, and I observed in passing through the office 
to his cabinet an immense number of boxes labelled, 
Armee du Nord, Armee des Pyrennees, Armee du 
Rhin, etc., etc., so that I was pretty well satisfied 
that I was in the right track. When we entered the 
cabinet I told him in three words who and what I 
was, and then proceeded to detail, at considerable 
length, all I knew on the state of Ireland, which, as 
it is substantially contained in my two memorials, 
to which I referred him, I need not here recapitu- 
late. 

I see clearly that all Clarke's ideas on Irish politics 
are at least thirty years behind those of the people, 
and I took pains to impress him with that conviction 
as delicately as I could. We should, according to 
his theory, have two blessed auxiliaries to begin 
with, the noblesse and the clergy. I hope, how- 

* Later Due de Feltre, one of the several officers of the Irish 
Brigade to favour the Revolution. Most of the Old Irish 
Brigade were royalist, and one sees the tinge of this monarchism 
even in Clarke's ideas. Farther on, March 27th, it is well to 
remember this when Tone mocks at the (New) Brigade and tells 
how the Catholics nearly mobbed some of them in Dublin. 
124 



1796] THE " BLANK " DAYS BEGIN 

ever, I have beat him a little out of that nonsense, 
and that, when he reads the memorials in cool 
blood, he will be satisfied of its absurdity. 

March i$th. Went to breakfast with Madgett, 
in consequence of a note which I received from him. 
Madgett in high spirits ; tells me everything is 
going on as well as possible ; that our affair is 
before the Directory. I must observe that it is very- 
odd, if the business be as Madgett says, before the 
Directory, and so far advanced, that Clarke should 
know nothing about it. Carnot did not appear to 
me yesterday to have even seen my memorials, and 
I rather believe that to be the case. Madgett is much 
more sanguine than I am, for I preserve in all this 
business a phlegm which is truly admirable. 

March 16th. Blank. Dined alone in the Champs 
Elysees. A most delicious walk. 

March 17th. St. Patrick's day. Dined alone in 
the Champs Elysees. Sad ! Sad ! 

March 18th. Blank ! Theatre in the evening. 

March 21st. Went, by appointment (this being 
the 1st Germinal) to the Luxembourg, to General 
Clarke ; " damn it and rot it for me " — he has not yet 
got my memorials ; only think how provoking. 

Went to see Othello ; not translated, but only 
taken from the English. Poor Shakespeare ! I 
felt for him. The French tragedy is a pitiful per- 
formance, filled with false sentiment ; the Moor 
whines most abominably, and Iago is a person of a 
very pretty morality ; the author apologizes for 
125 



THE DELAYS BEGIN [1796 

softening the villainy of the latter character, as well 
as for saving the life of Desdemona, and substituting 
a happy termination in place of the sublime and 
terrible conclusion of the English tragedy, by say- 
ing that the humanity of the French nation, and 
their morality would be shocked by such exhibi- 
tions : " Marry come up, indeed ! People s ears are 
sometimes the nicest part about them." I admire a 
nation that will guillotine sixty people a day for 
months, men, women, and children, and cannot 
bear the catastrophe of a dramatic exhibition ! Yet, 
certainly the author knows best, and I have had 
occasion repeatedly to observe, that the French are 
more struck with any little incident of tenderness 
on the stage, a thousand times, than the English, 
which is strange. In short, the French are a hu- 
mane people when they are not mad, and I like 
them with all their faults, and the guillotine at the 
head of them, better, a thousand times, than the 
English. And I like the Irish better than either, 
and as no one can doubt my impartiality, I expect 
my opinion will be received with proper respect 
and deference by all whom it may concern. 

March 22nd. I have worked this day like a horse. 
In the morning I called on Madgett to tell him that 
Carnot wanted the memorials, and begged him to 
expedite them. He boggled a good deal, and I got 
almost angry ; however, I am growing so much 
of a statesman, that I did not let him see it. It 
would be a most extraordinary thing, indeed, if one 
126 



1796] YET ANOTHER MEMORIAL 

of the Executive Directory could not command a 
paper of this kind out of the pocket of citizen 
Madgett. I resolved not to contest the point, but 
quietly to make a copy of the two memorials 
and give them myself to Clarke. 

It is only the trouble, and I have nothing else 
to do, and it is very good business for me, and I 
do not understand people being idle and giving 
themselves airs, and wanting to make revolutions, 
whilst they are grumbling at the trouble of writing 
a few sheets of paper. Having done with Madgett, 
I returned home, and set doggedly to copying my 
two memorials ; finished the first, and made a 
practicable breach in the second ; then wrote the 
eight foregoing pages in my journal, and now it is 
ten o'clock at night, and I am as tired as a dog, and 
my fingers are cramped, and I cannot see out of my 
eyes. Oh Lord ! oh Lord ! what wise memoran- 
dums I am making, and I am as tired as a devil, for 
I have written nine hours to-day, which is more than 
I ever did in my life. " What do I not suffer, O 
Athenians, that you may speak well of me ? " Pretty 
and modest, comparing myself by craft to Alexander 
the Great ! Well, the vanity of some people is 
most unaccountable ! 

March 23 r d. Madgett sent for me this morning 
to tell me, as usual, that everything is going on well, 
but, for my part, I think everything is going on very 
slowly. However, I did not say so. Madgett then 
told me the Minister desired I should draw up such 
127 



THE DELAYS BEGIN [1796 

a memorial as I thought the French commander 
ought to publish on landing. That is not quite so 
easy. I wished to evade it, by saying the style of 
French eloquence was so different from ours that I 
doubted my abilities to do it. He answered, it was 
precisely for that reason it was necessary I should 
write it ; that, when I had done, the Executive 
Directory would make such alterations and addi- 
tions as they might see necessary ; but the ground- 
work must be mine. I then said I would try, and 
we parted. 

March 24th. Began my French manifesto. It 
drags a little heavy or so, but there is no remedy. I 
wish they would write it themselves. 

March 26th. At work at the manifesto like a 
vicious mule, kicking all the way. At night sent 
for a bottle of Burgundy, intending to drink just 
one glass. Began to read (having opened my bottle) 
" Memoirs of the Reign of Louis XIV." After 
reading some time, found my passion at a particular 
circumstance kindled rather more than seemed 
necessary, as I flung the book from me with great 
indignation. Turned to my bottle, to take a glass 
to cool me — found, to my great astonishment, that 
it was empty — Oh ho ! — Got up and put every- 
thing in its place, exactly — examined all my locks 
— saw that my door was fast, as there may be rogues 
in the hotel — peeped under my bed, lest the enemy 
should surprise me there. It is the part of a wise 
man to be cautious, and I found myself, just then, 
128 



1796] WHEEDLING GENERAL CLARKE 

inclined to be extremely prudent. Having satisfied 
myself that all was safe, " / mounted the wall of my 
castle, as I called it, and having pulled the ladder up after 
me, I lay down in my hammock and slept contentedly." 
This is vilely misquoted, but no matter for that ; it 
is just like one of P. P.'s quotations. Slept like a 
top all night. 

March 2jth. On looking over my manifesto this 
morning, I begin to think it is damned trash. 
Went at two o'clock to General Clarke, and had a 
long conversation. He told me he had read my 
two memorials, and without flattery could assure 
me they were extremely well done (that of course) : 
that he had made, in consequence, a favourable 
report to Carnot, who endeavoured to read them 
also, but finding a difficulty in reading English 
manuscript, he (Clarke) was to translate them for 
him ; that all he could at present tell me was, that 
the Executive was determined to send a person 
directly to Ireland, and that he had in consequence 
written to an ex-officer of the Irish Brigade to know 
if he would go, but that he declined on the score of 
health. I told him I was sorry for that, as a military 
man, if one could be found proper in other respects, 
would be what I would prefer. He asked me, did 
I myself know any person fit to go ? I answered, 
I did not, having no acquaintance, and industriously 
avoiding having any, in France. He replied that it 
would not be easy to get an officer such as I de- 
scribed to undertake the enterprise with so small a 

(4,409) I29 j j 



THE DELAYS BEGIN [1796 

force. (This I was all along afraid of.) I replied, 
none would, unless some dashing fighting fellow, 
with a good deal of enthusiasm in his character ; 
adding, that Bournonville, whom I only knew by 
reputation and Camus's report, seemed to me to be 
precisely such a man as we wanted. Clarke replied, 
as to Bournonville, he was already appointed to the 
army in Holland, and it was not to be supposed he 
would quit the command of sixty thousand men to 
go command six thousand. I answered, he knew 
best, but my opinion was, there was more glory 
to be acquired in Ireland, even with that force, and 
also more profit, if profit were any object, as he must 
suppose the Irish nation would amply reward those 
who were instrumental in establishing their liberties, 
adding, that we were generous even to prodigality. 
He said he was sure Bournonville would prefer his 
present situation. (So there is an end of that ex- 
pectation, for which I am sorry.) Clarke then said 
there were some Irish officers yet remaining in 
France who might go, and he mentioned Jennings,* 
who used to call himself Baron de Kilmaine, God 
knows why. I answered that in Ireland we had no 
great confidence in the officers of the old Irish 

* Charles Jennings Kilmaine, a Dubliner (1754-99), fought 
as a private under Lauzun, and in America under Lafayette. 
In France he became chef d'escadron, and in 1793 seconded 
Dampierre. He was in jail in Paris ; he accompanied Napoleon 
across the Alps ; he had a command in the Armie d'Angleterre 
in 1798 ; and was later made Generalissimo of the Swiss Army, 
but resigned his baton to Massena because of ill-health. He 
died in Paris ; a typical Irish soldier of fortune. 
130 



1796] QUIZZING THE IRISH BRIGADE 

Brigade, so many of them had either deserted, or 
betrayed the French cause ; that, as to Jennings, he 
had had the misfortune to command after Custine, 
and had been obliged to break up the famous 
" Camp de Ccesar " ; that, though this might prob- 
ably have been no fault of his, it had made an 
impression, and, as he was at any rate not a fortunate 
general, I thought it would be better to have a 
Frenchman. This naturally introduced the Irish 
Brigade, in which Clarke had served for two years 
in Berwicks, and I gave him an account of the 
various slights and mortifications they had under- 
gone, both in England and Ireland ; how they had 
been obliged to accept the King's pardon for high 
treason, for having been in the French service ; how 
those who were able, were obliged to pay the fees, 
and those who were not, to accept it in forma pauperis, 
a circumstance so excessively degrading, that noth- 
ing could be worse ; how the Lord Lieutenant had 
applied on their behalf to the Catholic Committee, 
and had been refused ; how the very mob despised 
them, as an instance of which I mentioned the 
anecdote of the Etat-Major intending to go to Mass 
on Christmas Day in grand costume, and how they 
were obliged to give it up for fear of being hustled 
by the populace, who had given Dr. Troy warning 
that they would treat them as crimps ; with all 
which Clarke was exceedingly delighted. I then 
mentioned my scheme, as to the Irish, now prisoners 
in France, and made him laugh immoderately at my 
131 



THE DELAYS BEGIN [1796 

mode of recruiting, which is, however, admirably 
adapted to the gentlemen whom I should have to 
address. Seeing that he was tickled with the busi- 
ness, I exerted myself, and made divers capital hits 
at the expense of poor Pat, concerning 

" Women and wine, which compare so well, 
That they run in a perfect parallel,' ' 

as the poet hath it. To be sure, it is in vain to deny 
it, but the poor fellow is a little exposed on those 
two sides, and the foul fiend, who knows it right 
well, always judiciously chooses one or the other, 
or sometimes both, to defeat him. God knows, I 
have been buffeted by Satan, as well as another, in 
my time : 

" With women and wine I defy every care." 

—(Sings.) 

I would be glad to know what P. P. would say to 
my doctrine, concerning the fallibility of poor Pat's 
judgment, when 

" The wine looks red in the glass, 
And the bright eyes of beauty are beaming." 

Yes ! yes ! he is proof to all that, and so is P. P., 
and another person that shall be nameless. Well, 
we are all men, and so let me say no more about the 
matter. 

132 



I79<5] ON STAGE CONVENTIONS 

March 28th. Went to the opera, as usual, like a 
fine gentleman. I always go to that theatre, because, 
as yet, I understand music better than French. Pan- 
urge. Superb spectacle. Once for all, the King's 
theatre in the Haymarket is no better than a barn 
of strollers beside the Theatre des Arts, as to scenery, 
machinery, dresses, and decorations ; but in re- 
venge, their singers (being Italians) are far before 
the French, who, on the other hand, excel the 
Italians, and all other nations, in their dances. It 
is impossible to conceive anything in its kind more 
perfect than a grand ballet at the Opera of Paris, and, 
indeed, in all their theatres there is an attention paid 
to the preservation of costume, even in the minutest 
points, very far beyond the English theatres, where, 
I have seen myself, Macbeth, a Scottish chief of 
eight centuries ago, dressed in a very spruce vest of 
scarlet regimentals, and a bag wig, in which he need 
not be ashamed to show his face at St. James's, and 
where, to this hour, Hamlet the Dane, the son of 
Horwendillus, is exhibited, even by Kemble, from 
whom I would expect better things, in a fine black 
velvet full-trimmed suit, with the ribbon of the 
order of the Elephant over his shoulder ; where 
King John is habited after the fashion of 1160, and 
his antagonist, King Philip, confronts him in a 
cocked hat and feather, and a coat and waistcoat 
of the last court fashion. These absurdities the eye 
is never shocked with in France, and they are as 
attentive to the appearance of the meanest domestic 
133 



THE DELAYS BEGIN [1796 

as of the hero of the piece. All the minutiae of the 
scene are equally correct : for example, in a Grecian 
tragedy they would not introduce a pair of hand- 
some plated candlesticks. They have carefully 
studied the antique, and whatever is graceful 
among the moderns, and profited accordingly. 
I believe I have now said enough of the opera, 
to which the French are devoted a lafolie. All the 
theatres are as full every night as they can hold, and 
I have never seen an instance of what we call in 
England a bad or even a middling house. 

April 1st. Lounged about " cheapening old authors 
at a stall." Saw a superb battalion of infantry, and 
a squadron of cavalry inspected at the Tuileries by a 
general officer. The French cavalry are armed only 
with sabres and pistols, without carbines. I am 
glad of that, for I always thought carbines useless. 
The fire of infantry seems to me to have very little 
effect in comparison of the noise it makes, and the 
fire of cavalry I am sure is nonsense. The arme 
blanche is the system of the French, and I believe 
for the Irish, at least if our affair goes forward it 
will be what I shall recommend, for poor Pat is 
very furious and savage, and the tactics of every 
nation ought to be adapted to the national character. 
Platooning at forty yards' distance may answer very 
well to the English and German phlegm, but as we 
have rather more animal spirits, I vote for the 
bayonet. I do not love playing at long bullets. 
To conclude, I wish to study the character of the 
134 



1796] AN IRRITATING IRISHMAN 

French soldiers, and, if possible, to create the same 
spirit in Ireland, and, in a word, to make the French 
army our model instead of the Prussian. I think 
P. P. will allow that this is candid in me, after all 
the disputes he and I have had on the subject of 
discipline. 

April yd. Called on Madgett this morning by 
appointment. He is always full of good news. He 
tells me the marine force will be seventeen ships of 
war, great and small, arms and artillery, etc., for 
50,000 men ; that many of the officers are already 
named, but he believes not the general-in-chief. 
All this is very good, but " Would I could see it, quoth 
blind Hugh." Just then we were interrupted by the 
arrival of Fitzsimons, the priest, who has been 
recommended by Prieur de la Marne to go to 
Ireland. Madgett began to speak without re- 
serve, but, for my part, I kept myself in generals, 
because "Dolus versatur in universalibus" I was 
soon very glad I did so, for I see that he is a damned 
fool, not fit to deliver a common message. He may 
be honest, for aught I know, and may have the 
courage necessary, but he has not one grain of 
talents. I never was more provoked in my life, 
and the fellow was pinning himself on me, though 
my manner was as cold and dry as possible, but he 
seems to have a reasonable assurance, resulting partly 
from his extreme ignorance. Curse on him ! for 
a bladdering idiot ; what shall I do with him ? 
How can I explain myself to such a damned dunce, 
135 



THE DELAYS BEGIN [1796 

or entrust the safety of my friends, not to speak of 
the measure itself, to a blockhead that has not sense 
enough to keep his mouth shut, or count five on 
his fingers ? Where the devil in hell did Prieur 
pick him up, and what sort of a fellow must Prieur 
be himself, to recommend him ? If he judges him 
capable, he is a fool ; if not, he is worse. Damn 
him to hell ! I wish he was dead. " / would fain 
have him die, split me ! " Is not this most terribly 
provoking ? for it seems to be a thing settled that 
he shall go. What am I to do in this cursed 
dilemma, and how came Madgett not to interfere 
in time ? I objected all along to priests as the worst 
of all possible agents, and here is one who is the 
worst of all possible priests. How the devil can I 
communicate with such an ass ? It is impossible to 
conceive anything more vulgar, ignorant, and 
stupid. If he goes to Ireland, the people there 
will suppose that we are laughing at them, to send 
such a fellow. What will Gog think ? Yes, Gog 
will open his heart very readily to Mr. Fitzsimons. 
God rot him ! I am in such a rage I know not how 
to leave off abusing him. To give a specimen of 
his talents (because he amuses me) : There happened 
to be some Portuguese dispatches taken aboard a 
vessel going to Brazil. Sullivan, Madgett's nephew, 
was carrying them to the office to be translated, and 
Mr. Fitzsimons made the following remark : " You 
will have fine fun, making out what these Portu- 
guese fellows say ; are all those papers, pray, 

136 



1796] 



BAD NEWS 



wrote in English ? " The dispatches of the Portu- 
guese Ministry to the Governor of Rio Janeiro 
written in English ! Oh Lord ! oh Lord ! I thought 
I should have choked, endeavouring to smother the 
irresistible propensity I felt to laugh in his face. Yes, 
he is a pretty devil of an agent. I suppose he will 
talk Portuguese to the Irish, by way of keeping the 
secret. Damn him sempiternally ! 

April $th, 6th, 7th. Blank ! Blank ! Blank ! 
This is sad ! 

April 9, 1796. Sullivan * called on me this morn- 
ing with an English paper of the 31st of March 
(ten days ago), in which is an article on Ireland, 
wherein mention is made of Sir Edward Bellew, of 
Bellewstown, being arrested, as connected with 
the Defenders. 

I observe, in the same paper, that several other 
persons have been obliged to abscond to avoid 
imprisonment. I have no doubt but the most 
active and useful of my friends are of the number. 
This is a gloomy day. What if this indiscriminate 
persecution were to provoke a general rising, as in 
1 641 ! The thing is not impossible. Oh ! France ! 
France ! what do you not deserve to suffer if you 
permit this crisis to escape you ! Poor Ireland ! 
Well, it does not signify whining or croaking, and 
^ am sworn never to despair ; but the slowness of 
the people here, if they really have the means to 



* Madgett's nephew- 
April 3rd, q.v . 



-already referred to under entry of 
137 



THE DELAYS BEGIN [1796 

act, is beyond all human suffering ; if they have 
not, we must submit ; but it is dreadful to think of. 
Dined to-day in the Champs EJysees with Madgett 
and a person of the name of Aherne, a physician, 
who is to be sent to Ireland. I like Aherne very 
well ; he seems a cool man with good republican 
sentiments. I should have observed in its place, 
that I went at twelve o'clock to Clarke, and brought 
him the newspaper containing the account of 
Keogh's arrest, with a translation of the article in 
French for Carnot, which I got Sullivan to make. 
Clarke was just going off to the Directory, so I 
had hardly time to speak a word to him. I wished 
to speak to Carnot myself, and I could see Clarke 
was not at all desirous that I should have an oppor- 
tunity. Damn such pitiful, jealous vanity ! Every 
man here must do everything himself. I have 
found this unworthy sentiment in every one of 
them, except Carnot. First, the Minister is dis- 
obliged, because I go to Carnot ; then Madgett 
would be huffed, if he dared, because I go to Clarke ; 
and now Clarke truly wants to thrust himself 
between me and his principal. Please God, he 
shall not, though ! If I want to see Carnot, I will 
see him, or I will be refused. 

April 10th. Aherne called on me this morning, 
and I gave him a list of the persons he is to see, viz., 
Gog, Magog, P. P., C. Teeling, R. S[imms], and 
S. Neilson, Oliver Bond, W. J. MacNeven, with 
a query as to J. P. and T. A. Emmet. 
138 






1796] THE BLANKS ACCUMULATE 

April 12th. Blank ! How my life stagnates just 
now ! Well, " 'tis but in vain" 

April i6th-i7th. Blank ! Blank ! Damn it ! 

April iSth. Called on Clarke, who is very re- 
served of late. Let him ! 

April 19th. Blank ! 



139 



XI 

"A DOG'S LIFE" 

April 20th. This being the first Floreal, I left the 
Hotel des Strangers, where I have been fleeced 
like ten thousand devils, and removed to the house 
where Aherne lodges, where I hope I shall live 
cheaper and more comfortable. Went with 
Aherne, at one o'clock, to the Minister's, in order 
to see after his instructions. At last there is a pros- 
pect of something like business. The Minister 
read the draft of the instructions, in which there is 
a great deal of trash mixed with some good sense. 
Only think of one of the articles, wherein they say 
that if Ireland continues devoted to the House of 
Stuart, one of that family can be found who will be 
agreeable to all parties ! Who the devil is this 
Pretender in petto ? It is all one to us, however, 
for we will have nothing to do with him. I made 
one or two observations on the instructions to the 
Minister ; he acted very fairly, for he gave them 
to me, and desired me to make what observations 
struck me ; and as to Aherne, he said that he must 
only be guided by such of them as might apply to 
140 



i 7 9<5] CLARKE IS ANNOYING 

the state of things he found there, and disregard 
those that did not ; all which is candid. I see the 
instructions are written by Clarke, for I find in 
them his trash about monarchy, the noblesse, and 
the clergy. There is one thing, however, which 
reconciles me to all this absurdity, which is, that 
the French Government promise us 10,000 men 
and 20,000 stand of arms ; with that force I have 
not the shadow of doubt of our success. It is to be 
escorted by nine sail of the line (Dutch, I believe), 
and three frigates, and will be ready about the 
middle or towards the end of May, which is not 
more than six weeks off. If this be so — but let me 
not be sanguine. Went to Madgett to communicate 
this good news, and fixed to dine together, Aherne, 
he, and I, in the Champs Elysees. Dined accord- 
ingly ; drank rather enough. Walked out and 
saw the French soldiery dancing in groups, under 
the trees, with their wives and mistresses. Judge 
in the humour I was in, with near two bottles of 
Burgundy in my head, whether I did not enjoy the 
spectacle. How often did I wish for my dearest 
love ! Returned to the Restaurateur, and indeed 
drank off another bottle, which made three, and 
returned home in a state of considerable elevation, 
having several delightful visions before my eyes. 
Well, "Wine does wonders, does wonders every day." 
Bed, slept like a top. 

April 21st. Walked about Paris, diverting myself 
innocently. " J *gin to be aweary of the Sun" I wish 
141 



"A DOG'S LIFE" [1796 

I could see once more the green sod of Ireland ; 
yet Paris is delightful ; but then " home is home." 
Well, who knows ? I may be there yet. 

April 22nd. Went to Clarke to apprise him of 
my having changed my lodgings ; asked him had 
he any news for me. He answered not. I replied 
that hitherto he had not found me very pressing 
for information ; but that, nevertheless, I expected 
that when the time came, I should be properly 
apprised of everything. He replied, " Certainly." 
I also said, that as to my own affairs, which I had 
scarcely mentioned, I hoped and expected that 
the request which I had suggested once already to 
him, of being employed in the expedition as an 
officer in the French service, would not be refused. 
He answered that I might depend upon that. I 
then mentioned the old subject of the necessity of 
losing no time. To which he replied, with an air 
of great significance, that, if the affair was under- 
taken, it would be within two years at any rate. 
He is a puppy, that is the truth of it. This good- 
humoured irony I dare say he thought extremely 
diplomatic, but I can assure him he acts the states- 
man very poorly. He is much fitter to figure away 
at Ranelagh than in a bureau diplomatique, for he is 
a handsome lad. I then mentioned Pichegru to 
him, observing that any old woman would make 
an ambassador for Sweden, where they are sending 
him, whereas our expedition required a man of 
great talents and military reputation. 
142 






1796] A NEW MEMORIAL 

April 23rd. Blank ! These blanks are very thick 
sown latterly on my journals, but that is not my 
fault. 

April 2$th. Went with Aherne to the Minister's 
and gave him my observations, which he read and 
liked very well. He tells me Aherne will be dis- 
patched in a few days, and that he has every reason 
to think the expedition will be ready by the latter 
end of May. I begin to speak French like a nabob. 
I astonished the Minister to-day with the volubility 
of my diction. On leaving De la Croix, who, 
by-the-bye, has had a narrow chance of being 
turned out, but is now, I fancy, pretty safe, I met 
Sullivan, who gave me an English paper, with the 
quarters of the army in Ireland for this year ; I was 
very glad to get it. I see but nine regiments of 
dragoons, and two of troops of the line, the rest 
all fencibles or militia ; there is to be a camp of 
about 2,500 men in the north, and 2,000 near 
Dublin, which with the garrison will make about 
6,500 men. The whole force is about 30,000 men, 
as I guessed, but I am sure not above 20,000 
effective. I have not the least doubt of success 
if we can land with 10,000 French. 

April 26th. Wrote a short memorial on the force 
and disposition of the army in Ireland, as it appears 
in the English papers, and gave it to Sullivan to 
translate. I think it is very prettily done, which is 
not the case with all my productions. I will give 
it to the Minister to-morrow. Went in the evening 
143 



"A DOG'S LIFE" [1796 

to the theatre ; Montansier, Mdlle. Ferlon a good 
actress and pretty. 

April 28th, 29th. Blank ! Blank ! Is not this 
cruel ? But what can I do ? I have not lost one 
minute by my negligence since my arrival in Paris ; 
well, that is some comfort, however. 

April 30th. Called on Clarke again ; he is a sad 
puppy, and I am fairly tired of him. Our dialogue 
is always the same. " Well, General Clarke, I have 
called to know if you have anything to tell me." 
" Not a word." " Well, I hope when there is 
anything going forward, you will let me know." 
Two or three words of commonplace discourse 
follow, and so I take my leave as ignorant as a horse. 
I confess I cannot fathom General Clarke's policy 
in keeping me so totally in the dark. 

May 1st Blank ! Thinking of an interview 
with Carnot ; I declare I am literally tired of my 
life. 

May 2nd. Went to the Luxembourg ; saw 
Rewbell giving audience in his costume ; wrote 
a note desiring to see Carnot, and was admitted ; 
he recollected me perfectly. I began by saying, 
fluently enough, that, in pursuance of his orders, 
I had been several times with General Clarke, and 
had given him all the information I was possessed 
of, as well verbally as by memorials and other 
papers. He said he knew I had. I then observed 
that considering General Clarke in an official 
situation, I had avoided pressing him to give me 
144 



I79<5] WITH CARNOT AGAIN 

any information in return ; but that, at present, 
when I learned directly from the Minister, and 
indirectly from many other quarters, that prepara- 
tions were in a considerable degree of forwardness 
for the expedition, I hoped, when he considered 
the efforts I had made, the risks I had run, the 
dangers I had escaped in endeavouring to lay the 
state of Ireland before the French Government, 
as well as the situation I had once the honour to 
fill in my own country, that he would not consider 
me as unreasonably importunate in requesting him 
to give me such information as he might deem 
proper, as to the state of the expedition, supposing 
it were to take place. He replied, my request was 
not at all unreasonable, but that, before measures 
were fully determined upon, it would be necessary 
that the French Government should be satisfied 
as to the actual state of things in Ireland ; and for 
that purpose a person should be sent to observe 
everything, and make his report accordingly ; for, 
if the people there were amicable to the French 
Republic, the attempt might be made, but if not, 
it would require a considerable force to conquer 
the country. This was a staggering blow to me, 
to find myself no farther advanced at the end of 
three months than I was at my first audience. 
Just at this moment General Clarke entered, and I 
cannot say that he seemed highly delighted at the 
rencontre. So ! "I have got much by my intended 

expostulation" as Sir Peter Teazle says. That is 
(M09) I4J I2 



" A DOG'S LIFE" [1796 

hard ; I fear all my exertions and sacrifices and 
hopes will come to nothing at last. Well, if it 
should be so, I hope I shall be able to bear it, but 
it is cruel. I begin now to think of my family 
and cottage again. I fancy it will be my lot at 
last to bury them and myself in the backwoods of 
America. My poor little boys, I had almost begun 
to entertain hopes of being able to rescue them from 
that obscurity and above all things to place my 
wife and our dear Maria in a situation more worthy 
of them ; but, if I cannot, I must submit ; it is at 
least no fault of mine ; I think I have left nothing 
on my part undone, or untried, or unhazarded. 
If I have to go back to the woods, I must see and 
inveigle P. P. out with me, otherwise I shall be in 
great solitude. 

May 12th. Finished my memorial and gave it 
to Clarke — I should say my proclamation. It is 
too long, but let Carnot cut it down as he pleases. 
Went to the Minister for permission to stay in 
Paris, malgre la loi. The Minister occupied ; so 
I wrote him a short note, in very pretty French, 
which I left for him. In the evening the spectacle 
as usual. The French comedians are infinitely 
beyond the English. Even in the little theatres 
on the Boulevards they perform admirably, and 
there is an attention to the costume never seen in 
England. All the theatres, too, are pretty, and 
some magnificent. The opera, however, continues 
to stand first in my opinion. It is a charming 
146 



1796] TRIFLES TO FEND OFF DESPAIR 

spectacle, and I never go there without wishing 
for my dearest love. But matters are so uncertain 
here, that I labour to prevent myself wishing for 
anything. I am a dog — I am a dog, and I lead 
a dog's life here, dancing attendance perpetually, 
and in a constant suspense. I have, I know not 
why, foregone my usual amusements. Sad ! sad ! 
" Man delights not me, nor woman neither." What 
shall I do ? the novelty of Paris is worn off, 
my anxiety about our affairs increases, and I get 
no satisfactory information. The devil puts it 
into my head sometimes that I am like Hannibal 
at the court of Prusias, supplicating his aid to enable 
Carthage to make war upon the Romans. There 
is a sort of analogy in the circumstances, excepting 
that I am not a Hannibal, nor General Clarke 
Prusias. Well, politics are fine things, mais cest 
quand on en est revenu. I declare I wish our revolu- 
tion was effected, and that I was set down once 
more quietly in the bosom of my family, and that 
is not very strange, for I dote upon them, and I 
am here like a fish out of water, and everything 
frets me. Yet I admire the French, of all things ; 
the men are agreeable and the women enchanting, 
and, if my mind were at ease, as it is not, I could 
make it out here very well, for some time longer, 
but as it is — well, I can't help myself, and so what 
signifies complaining ! Let me write nonsense, 
and I cannot write good nonsense when I am not 
in spirits, and I am never in spirits now. The 
147 



" A DOG'S LIFE " [1796 

French women are before the English, far and wide. 
They are incomparably well made, almost without 
exception. The English women have handsome 
faces, but for figure and fashion they do not 
approach the French ; and then they walk so 
incomparably, and their language is so adapted to 
conversation, that they all appear to have wit. 
For their morality, it is, to be sure, " a nice morality, 
split my wind-pipe." Paris, in that respect, beats 
London hollow, and that is a bold word, after what 
I have seen in London. Well, give me Ireland, after 
all, for women to make wives and mothers of. 
For " casual fruition" go to London, or, indeed, 
rather to Paris, but if you wish to be happy, choose 
your companion at home. The more I see of this 
wide world, the more I prize the inestimable 
blessing I possess in my wife's affection, her virtues, 
her courage, her goodness of heart, her sweetness 
of temper, and besides, she is very pretty, a circum- 
stance which does not lessen her value in my eyes. 
What is she doing just now, and what would I 
give to be with her and the little fanfans for half 
an hour ? 

May 21 st. This morning, on sallying out, the 
first thing I saw was an affiche of a vessel to sail in 
ten days for New York. This knocked me in the 
head for the whole day. I have been planning 
a thousand schemes. To-morrow I will see 
Madgett, in order to take his opinion on one or 
two points. If I can do it with safety to my wife, 
148 



1796] HOME SICK 

and our dear, dear babies, I think I will settle in 
France. 

May 23 r</, 24th, 2$th, 26th. After balancing for 
four or five days, and turning the matter every way 
in my thoughts, I have taken my resolution, and 
written this day to my dearest love, to Rowan, 
and Doctor Reynolds, acquainting them with my 
determination to settle in France, and desiring 
them to make preparations for the departure of 
my family with all possible haste. It is a bold 
measure, but " Audaces fortuna juvat." If my 
negotiation here succeeds, it would be best they 
should be in France ; if it fails, still I am satisfied 
it is more advisable for us to settle here than in 
America. At all events, the die is cast. It is an 
epoch in my life. I have decided to the best of my 
judgment, and, if I fail, I fail. I am weary of 
floating about at the mercy of events ; let me fix 
myself, if possible, at last. 

May 28th, 29th. Went to the Fete des Victoires, 
which was celebrated to-day in the Champ de Mars. 
The Directory, the Ministers, the Corps Diplo- 
matique, etc., all assisted, in grand costume. 
Incense was burning before the statue of Liberty, 
and the usual civic hymns were chanted, with two 
or three new ones, composed for the occasion, 
and alluding to the success of the army of Italy. 
It was a superb spectacle, and the spirit of the people 
seemed much better than I expected, under all the 
circumstances of the case. Altogether, I was 
149 



" A DOG'S LIFE " [1796 

exceedingly pleased with the exhibition, and the 
tears were running down my cheeks when Carnot 
presented the wreaths and standards to the soldiers. 
It was a spectacle worthy of a grand Republic, 
and I enjoyed it with transport. Vive la Republique ! 

June 6th. Called this morning by appointment 
upon General Clarke. Found him more cordial 
in his manner than ordinary. He told me he had 
read my proclamation, and found it extremely well 
done ; that, however, it would be necessary to 
curtail it considerably, for the first point in these 
compositions is to ensure their being read, and, for 
that, it is necessary they should be short ; that 
there would be a longer one prepared for those who 
studied politics, but that mine was destined for the 
people and soldiery. I thought there was good 
sense in all this, and I can safely say that, in all the 
public papers I have ever written, I am above the 
personal vanity of an author, as I believe Gog can 
witness. I therefore told him I would mince it 
sans remords. 

June gth. At work cutting and slashing my pro- 
clamation. I will bring it to something at last. 
I am just like Jack, in the " Tale of a Tub," altering 
his coat. 

June 10th. Madgett tells me an odd piece of news. 
One of the clerks in the bureaux assures him that 
the landing of the French in Ireland has been 
effected, and that he has it from a member of the 
legislative body, who has it directly from one of 
150 






1796] A CANARD 

the Directory. If it be so, it is most extraordinary 
that neither Madgett nor I were favoured with the 
smallest information on the subject. Madgett has 
been with the Minister to inquire. The Minister 
said he did not believe it, and that the news must 
be premature. 

June nth. Called on Clarke, whom I met 
running to his bureau, in a violent hurry to General 
Lacuee, who was waiting for him. I had just time 
to give him the paper, and he did not say one word 
about the landing, so I presume the story is, as the 
Minister says, premature. Evening. Madgett 
with me again. The report seems to grow more 
serious. It stands now as follows : Grandjean, 
Chef de Bureau in the foreign affairs, told him this 
day that the French were landed in Ireland to the 
number of 15,000 men ; that they had been per- 
fectly well received by the people, who were 
flocking about them in thousands, when the 
dispatches were sent off; that he had this from 
Beffroy, a member of the Cinq-cent, who had it 
directly from one of the Directory. All this is very 
circumstantial and precise, and, I confess, staggers 
me extremely. 

June 12th. Drank punch last night with Madgett. 
He is come off his confidence a little, as to the 
landing. " Goodman Verges speaks a little off the 
matter ; an old man, and his wits are not so blunt as, 
Heaven help, I could desire they were." He does 
bore me sometimes most confoundedly. More- 
151 



" A DOG'S LIFE" [1796 

over, I think I see by his discourse that he has his 
eye on the ambassadorship of Ireland, that is to be. 

June 13th, 14th. Called on Clarke this morning, 
for want of other idleness. Saw him for two 
minutes, mentioned Madgett's report of the land- 
ing, adding that I did not believe it. He assured me 
it was utterly unfounded. So there is an end of 
that business. I fixed to call on him the 1st Messidor, 
in four or five days, and so we parted. Clarke was 
civil enough. I want to consult him as to what I 
am to do concerning trade affairs. My finances 
are reduced to a state truly deplorable. I am worth 
to-day about thirteen louis d'ors, which will not 
last me more than a month, and I must not let 
myself be run to the last sol. 

June 20th. To-day is my birthday — I am thirty- 
three years old. At that age Alexander had con- 
quered the world ; at that age Wolfe had com- 
pleted his reputation, and expired in the arms of 
victory. Well, it is not my fault if I am not as great 
a man as Alexander or Wolfe. I have as good dis- 
positions for glory as either of them, but I labour 
under two small obstacles at least — want of talents 
and want of opportunities ; neither of which, I 
confess, I can help. Allons ! nous verrons. If I 
succeed here I may make some noise in the world 
yet ; and, what is better, the cause to which I am 
devoted is so just, that I have not one circumstance 
to reproach myself with. I will endeavour to keep 
myself as pure as I can, as to the means ; as to the 
152 



1796] PERSONAL AFFAIRS 

end, it is sacred — the liberty and independence of 
my country first, the establishment of my wife, and 
of our darling babies, next ; and last, I hope, a well- 
earned reputation. I am sure I am doing my very 
best here, as, indeed, I have endeavoured to do all 
along. " I am not idle, but the ebbs and flows of for- 
tune's tide cannot be calculated." 

June 21st. I walk almost every day to the 
Tuileries to see the guard relieved. Their grenadiers 
are noble fellows, and, luckily, Jourdan has twenty- 
two thousand of them in one corps on the Rhine. 
They are fond of ornamenting themselves, particu- 
larly with flowers. One scarce sees a sentinel with- 
out a little bouquet in his hat or breast, and most 
frequently in the barrel of his firelock. I like that, 
and I do not know why, but it pleases me. 

June 23 /y/. Called on Clarke in the morning, 
and found him in high good humour. He tells 
me that he has mentioned my business to Carnot, 
and that within a month I may expect an appoint- 
ment in the French army. This is glorious ! I 
told Clarke I had written for my family, and was 
determined at all events to settle in France. 

June 24th. " I've now not fifty ducats in the 
world ; " but, hang it, that does not signify ; am 
I not going to be an officer in the French service ? 
I believe I might have been a little more economical, 
but I am sure not much. I brought with me one 
hundred louis to France, and they will have lasted 
me just six months, by the time they are run out ; 
153 



"A DOG'S LIFE" [1796 

after all, that is no great extravagance. Besides, 
" a fool and his money are soon parted" and poor Pat 
was never much noted for his discretion on that 
point, and I am in some things as arrant an Irishman 
as ever stood on the Pont-neuf. 

June 26th. I go regularly every day to the 
Tuileries at twelve o'clock to see the guard re- 
lieved : it is one of my greatest relaxations. I take 
pride in the French troops, though they are neither 
powdered nor varnished, like those of the other 
states of Europe. I frequently find the tears gush 
into my eyes whilst I am looking at them. It is 
impossible to conceive a body of finer fellows than 
the guards of the legislative body, who are, by-the- 
bye, perfectly well dressed and appointed in all 
respects. They are all handsome young men, six 
feet high, and well proportioned. They have, as 
I believe I remarked already, the air of officers 
in soldiers' coats, and look as if they were set up 
by the dancing master rather than the drill 
sergeant. As to the courage of the French soldiery, 
I believe it is now pretty well understood in Europe ; 
nevertheless " one Englishman is always able to beat 
Jive Frenchmen" which is very consoling to John 
Bull. I wonder what figure poor Pat will cut upon 
the sod. I fancy he will not be much amiss. Well, 
let me once see myself in Ireland, buckled to a long 
sabre, and with a green coat on my back, and a pair 
of swinging epaulets on my shoulders, " Alors 
nous verron, Messieurs de la Cabale." The Whig 
154 



X79<*] DUCKETT GABBLING 

Club, I see, are taking up the condition of the 
labouring poor. They are getting frightened, and 
their guilty consciences will not let them sleep. 
I suppose they will act like the gentry of Meath, 
who, for fear of the Defenders, raised their work- 
men's wages from eightpence to a shilling per day, 
but took care at the same time to raise the rent of 
their hovels, and the grass for their cows in the 
same proportion, so that at the end of the year the 
wretched peasant was not a penny the richer. Such 
is the honesty of the Squirearchy of Ireland. 

June 2jth. A sad rainy day, and I am not well, 
and the blue devils torment me. Hell ! hell ! 
Allah! Allah! Allah! 

June 29th. Madgett tells me to-day that he has 
heard from Duckett, who is, I understand, a great 
blackguard, who has heard from a Mr. Morin, 
who is I know not what, that there are to be two 
expeditions to Ireland, one from Flushing, com- 
manded by General Macdonald, an Irishman, and 
the other from Brest, commanded by General 
Hoche. Madgett added that he had endeavoured 
to put Duckett off the scent by saying that he did 
not believe one word of the story, but that Duckett 
continued positive. The fact is, it seems likely 
enough to be the truth, and probably is so ; but 
it seems most terribly provoking to have the 
subject bandied about, for table-talk by such a 
fellow as this Duckett, to whom, by-the-bye, 
Charles De la Croix revealed in confidence all 
155 



" A DOG'S LIFE " [1796 

that he knew three months ago, for which he ought 
to be damned ; happily at present he knows 
nothing as I believe, so I presume he will keep the 
secret. 

July 3rd. I see to-day that the Channel fleet is 
preparing at Spithead, to the number of twenty- 
one sail of the line (damn and sink them !) with 
God knows how many admirals ; that the camps 
are not yet formed in Ireland, but that vast quan- 
tities of arms and ammunition, are daily imported 
into that country, as also tents and camp equipage. 
I am glad of that, because I hope it will appear 
in the event that it is for us that the worthy John 
Bull is putting himself to all this expense and 
trouble. I see likewise that the British have taken 
three of our best frigates, being the entire of a 
flying squadron, sent to cruise in the chops of the 
Channel ; that is damned bad. But then again 
the French are defending themselves in St. Lucie 
like devils incarnate ; that is good. There are also 
news to-day of another victory on the Rhine by 
Moreau, " but this gentleman will tell you the per- 
pendiculars" which are not yet published ; I hope 
it is true. Vive la Republique ! 

Evening, 5 o'clock. It was not for nothing that 
I have been in the horrors all the forenoon. On 
the 26th of May I wrote to my wife, to Rowan, 
and Dr. Reynolds, respecting the immediate 
removal of my family to France ; and to-day I 
see in an English paper given me by Sullivan, that 
156 



1796] A FURTHER DISAPPOINTMENT 

the vessel which carried my letter, an American, 
the Argus, Capt. Fanning, was carried into Ply- 
mouth on the 25th of June last and is detained. 
That is pleasant ! This event throws my private 
affairs into unspeakable confusion, and I am too 
angry just now to see how to rectify them. I was 
this very morning counting that my dearest love 
would have my letter in about a fortnight. Was 
there ever anything so distressing ? These are the 
fruits of the American treaty,* but it is hard my 
poor little family should suffer for it. 

July \th. I want to change my domicile. I am 
lodged in the house of a little " bossue " (Anglice, 
a hunchback), and she wants me to go to bed to 
her, and I won't, for my virtue forbids it, and so 
she is out of humour and very troublesome some- 
times. To tell the God's truth, I have no great 
merit in my resistance, for she is as crooked as 
a ram's horn (which is a famous illustration) and 
as ugly as sin besides ; rot her, the dirty little 
faggot, she torments me. " I will not march through 
Coventry with her, thai' 's flat." 

July 6th. Saw Clarke this morning ; he is almost 
recovered, and tells me my business is delayed 

* Tone must be referring to what is known as Jay's Treaty 
of 1794-95, arising out of British spoliation of American neutral 
shipping during the French war. To avert a further war with 
England, Alexander Hamilton persuaded Washington to con- 
clude a compromise with the British, which did not definitely 
protect American ships, but arranged for courts of arbitration 
subsequent to the capture of American vessels. 

157 



" A DOG'S LIFE " [1796 

solely by the absence of General Hoche, who is 
coming up with all privacy to Paris to confer with 
the Directory ; that on his arrival everything will 
be settled ; that I must be introduced to him, and 
communicate with him, and most probably return 
with him to the army where my presence would be 
necessary. I then took occasion to mention the 
state of my finances, that in two or three days I 
should be run out, and relied upon him to prevent 
my falling into difficulties. He asked me could I 
carry on the war some little time longer ? I 
answered, I could not, for that I did not know a 
soul in Paris but the Government. He seemed a 
little taken aback at this, by which I see that money 
is not their forte at present. Damn it for me ! 
I am sure I wish there was not a guinea in the world. 
So here I am, with exactly two louis in my ex- 
chequer, negotiating with the French Government, 
and planning revolutions. I must say it is truly 
original " Crescit amor nummi, quantum ipsa pecunia 
crescit" That is not true as to me, for my passion 
increases as my funds diminish. I reckon I am the 
poorest Ambassador to-day in Paris, but that gives 
me no great concern. Huzza ! Vive la Re- 
puhlique ! 

July jth. In order to divert myself, and get rid of 
a little of my superfluous cash, I went last night to 
the opera, where, by-the-bye, I go most frequently. 
I think I will go now and scold Monroe about the 
capture of the Argus, and miscarriage of my letters. 
158 



1796] BUT STILL GAY 

Sat with Monroe above an hour, and like him very 
much. Drank a bottle of wine and prosed with 
Madgett in the evening at the Champs Elysees. 
Stupid enough, God knows. 

July gth. By dint of perseverance I am getting 
through the remainder of my cash. When I am 
near being run out, I am always more extravagant ; 
and, like the " Old Batchelor," run into the danger 
to avoid the apprehension. 

(Sings) Oh says this Frog, I will go ride, Kitty 

alone, etc. 
Oh says this Frog, I will go ride, Kitty alone 

and I. 
Oh says this Frog, I will go ride, with 

sword and pistol by my side, 
Cock ma Kary, Kitty alone, Kitty alone 

and I. 

That quotation I take to be inimitable ; I do not 
recollect anything from P. P. which exceeds it. 
I know green envy will gnaw his soul at the 
perusal. 



159 



XII 



HOCHE. THE GREAT ADVENTURE 
BEGINS 

July 12th. Battle of Aughrim. As I was sitting in 
my cabinet studying my tactics, a person knocked 
at the door, who, on opening it proved to be a 
dragoon of the third regiment. He brought me 
a note from Clarke, informing me that the person 
he mentioned was arrived and desired to see me at 
one o'clock. I ran off direcdy to the Luxembourg 
and was shown into Fleury's cabinet, where I 
remained till three, when the door opened and a 
very handsome, well-made young fellow in a brown 
coat and nankeen pantaloons, entered, and said, 
" Vous etes le citoyen Smith ? " I thought he was 
a chef de bureau, and replied, " Oui, citoyen, je 
mappelle Smith." He said, " Vous vous appelez, 
aussi, je crois Wolfe Tone ? " I replied, " Oui 
citoyen, cest mon veritable nom." " Eh bien," replied 
he, "je suis le General Hoche" At these words I 
mentioned that I had for a long time been desirous 
of the honour I then enjoyed, to find myself in his 
company. " Into his arms I soon did fly, and there 
1 60 



I79<S] SIGNS OF PROGRESS 

embraced him tenderly." He then said he presumed 
I was the author of the memorandums which had 
been transmitted to him. I said I was. " Well," 
said he, " there are one or two points I want to 
consult you on." General Clarke entered, to 
request we would come to dinner with Citizen 
Carnot. We accordingly adjourned the conversa- 
tion to the apartment of the President, where we 
found Carnot and one or two more. Hoche, 
after some time, proceeded to ask me, in case 
of the landing being effectuated, might he rely 
on finding provisions, and particularly bread ? 
When he mentioned his anxiety as to bread, Carnot 
laughed, and said, " There is plenty of beef in 
Ireland ; if you cannot get bread, you must eat 
beef." I told him I hoped they would find enough 
of both ; adding, that within the last twenty years 
Ireland had become a great corn country, so that 
at present it made a considerable article in her 
exports. They then proceeded to confer, but I 
found it difficult to follow them, as it was in fact 
a suite of former conversations at which I had not 
assisted, and besides, they spoke with the rapidity 
of Frenchmen. I collected, however, if I am right, 
that there will be two landings, one from Holland, 
near Belfast, and the other from Brittany, in Con- 
naught ; that there will be, I suppose, in both 
embarkations, not less than ten, nor more than 
fifteen thousand men ; twelve thousand was also 

mentioned, but I did not hear any time specified. 
(4,409) l6l I3 



THE GREAT ADVENTURE BEGINS [1796 

Carnot said, " It will be, to be sure, a most brilliant 
operation." And well may he say so if he succeeds. 
We then went to dinner, which was very well 
served, without being luxurious. We had two 
courses and a dessert. There were present about 
sixteen or eighteen persons, Madame Carnot, her 
sister and sister-in-law, Carnot, his brother, Hoche, 
Truguet, the Minister of Marine, Clarke, two or 
three officers, and Lagarde, the Secretaire General* 
I sat by Hoche. After coffee was served we rose, 
and Carnot, Hoche, Truguet, Lacuee, and Clarke 
retired to a cabinet and held a council on Irish 
affairs which lasted from six to nine o'clock. I like 
Carnot extremely, and Hoche, I think, yet better. 

July 13th. I cannot help this morning thinking 
of Gil Bias, when he was Secretary to the Duke 
of Lerma. Yesterday I dined with Carnot, and 
to-day I should be puzzled to raise a guinea. I am 
almost on my last louis, and my commission is not 
yet made out, though Clarke tells me it is done ; 
but I will never believe him till I have it in my 
hand. 

July i$th. Blank ! Dull as a post all day. 

July 16th. Saw Clarke. Called on Madgett on 

*Tone here meets another lion — Laurent Jean Francois 
Truguet (1 752-1 839) — one of the doyens of the French navy. 
Already famous in '89, he was called to the Ministry of Marine 
by Barras, suffered a little as a result of Hoche's failure to invade 
Ireland, went to Spain as ambassador, was arrested, exiled as a 
suspect royalist, returned, refused to recognize Napoleon as 
emperor, was again disgraced, but survived to be made a peer 
at the Restoration. 

162 



i 7 9<5] IRISH KING ? 

my way home to desire him to find me two louis 
d'or in two days at furthest, for I am just now run 
out, and I shall have my lodgings to pay for in 
three days from this, which is most fearful, for I 
dread my little bossue of a landlady more than the 
enemy a thousand times ; but Madgett has promised 
to supply me, and so — 

" Hang those who talk of fear ; 
Our castle's strength will laugh a siege to scorn." 

I forgot to mention in its place that Hoche has a 
famous cut of a sabre down his forehead, eyebrow, 
and one side of his nose. He was pretty near the 
enemy when he got that, and luckily it does not at 
all disfigure him. He is but two-and-thirty, 
Jourdan five-and-thirty, Buonaparte twenty-nine, 
Moreau * about thirty, and Pichegru, who is the 
oldest of all, about six-and-thirty. The French 
have no old generals in service ; it is their policy to 
employ young men, and the event has shown they 
are right. 

July iSth. Rose early this morning and wrote a 
threatening letter to citizen Carnot, telling him 

" if he did not put five pounds in a sartin place ! ! " 

It is written in French, and I have a copy. God 
forgive me for calling it French, for I believe, 

*Jean Victor Moreau (1761-1813), one of the ablest and 
most disinterested of the Republican generals ; ultimately 
banished by Napoleon to America, he returned to die fighting 
against France with the armies of Russia and Prussia in 18 13. 
163 



THE GREAT ADVENTURE BEGINS [1796 

properly speaking, it is no language ; however, 
he will understand that money is the drift of it, and 
that is the main point. Called at twelve on Clarke. 
At last he has got my brevet from the Minister at 
War. It is for the rank of Chef de Brigade, and 
bears date the 1st Messidor Qune 19th). Clarke 
then went on to say they had no security for what 
form of government we might adopt in case of 
success. I replied, I had no security to offer but 
my decided opinion that we would establish a 
Republic. He objected that we might establish an 
aristocratic Republic, like that of Genoa. I assured 
him the aristocracy of Ireland were not such 
favourites with the people that we should spill our 
blood to establish their power. He then said, 
" Perhaps, after all, we might choose a King ; 
that there was no security against that but informa- 
tion, and that the people of Ireland were in general 
very ignorant. ' ' I asked him, in God's name, whom 
would we choose, or where would we go look for 
a King ? He said, " Maybe the Duke of York ? " 
I assured him that he, or his aide-de-camp, Fleury, 
who was present, had full as good, and indeed 
a much better chance, than his Royal Highness ; 
and I added, that we neither loved the English 
people in general, nor his Majesty's family in 
particular, so well as to choose one of them for our 
King, supposing, what was not the case, that the 
superstition of royalty yet hung about us. As to 
the ignorance of our peasantry, I admitted it was in 
164 



1796] A SURFEIT OF ROYALTY 

general too true, thanks to our execrable Govern- 
ment, whose policy it was to keep them in a state 
of barbarism ; but I could answer for the informa- 
tion of the Dissenters, who were thoroughly 
enlightened and sincere republicans, and who, I 
had no doubt, would direct the public sentiment 
in framing a government. He then asked, was 
there nobody among ourselves that had any chance, 
supposing the tide should set in favour of mon- 
archy ? I replied, " Not one." He asked, " Would 
the Duke of Leinster, for example ? " I replied, 
" No ; that everybody loved and liked the Duke, 
because he was a good man, and always resided 
and spent his fortune in Ireland, but that he by no 
means possessed that kind of character or talents 
which might elevate him to that station.' ' He 
then asked me again, " Could I think of nobody ? " 

I replied, "I could not; that Lord Moira*was the 
only person I could recollect who might have had 
the least chance, but that he had blown his reputa- 
tion to pieces by accepting a command against 
France ; and, after him, there was nobody." 

II Well," said Clarke, " maybe, after all, you will 
choose one of your own leaders ; who knows 

* Lord Moira, later Governor-General of India and Marquis 
of Hastings. Yet (see March 4, 1798) Tone has never as many 
pleasant things to say of Moira as he has of the Duke of Leinster. 
At one point he actually felt that the duke would join the 
people if it came to a revolution ; at another, spoke of him as 
" my friend " ; and always thinks of him as the friend of the 
Catholics. 

165 



THE GREAT ADVENTURE BEGINS [1796 

but it may be yourself ? " I replied, we had no 
leaders of a rank or description likely to arrive at 
that degree of eminence ; and, as to myself, I 
neither had the desire nor the talents to aspire so 
high. Well, that is enough of royalty for the 
present. We then, for the hundredth time, beat 
over the old ground about the priests, without, 
however, starting any fresh ideas ; and I summed 
up all by telling him that, as to religion, my belief 
was we should content ourselves with pulling down 
the Establishment without setting up any other ; 
that we would have no State religion, but let every 
sect pay their own clergy voluntarily ; and that, 
as to royalty and aristocracy, they were both odious 
in Ireland to that degree, that I apprehended much 
more a general massacre of the gentry, and a dis- 
tribution of the entire of their property, than the 
establishment of any form of government that 
would perpetuate their influence ; that I hoped this 
massacre would not happen, and that I, for one, 
would do all that lay in my power to prevent it, 
because I did not like to spill the blood, even of the 
guilty ; at the same time, that the pride, cruelty, 
and oppression of the Irish aristocracy were so 
great, that I apprehended every excess from the 
just resentment of the people. The conversation 
ended here. 

July 22nd. Called at Clarke's on Fleury ; coming 
out met General Hoche, who desired to see me to- 
morrow morning, at seven o'clock, in order to 
166 



1796] "THIS LOOKS LIKE BUSINESS" 

talk over our business, and settle about my leaving 
Paris. That looks like business. Huzza ! huzza ! 
I am always huzzaing, like a blockhead. 

July 23rd. Called on Hoche, at seven, and found 
him in bed, talking with two generals, whom I did 
not know. I made my acknowledgments, and 
asked him, at the same time, whether my appear- 
ance at headquarters might not give rise to some 
suspicions, from the circumstance of my being a 
foreigner ? He replied, he would settle me in a 
village near Rennes, his headquarters, where I 
should be incognito, and, at the same time, within 
his reach. I returned him a thousand thanks ; and 
he proceeded to ask me, " Did I think it was likely 
that the men of property, or any of them, wished 
for a revolution in Ireland ? " I replied, " Most 
certainly not," and that he should reckon on all the 
opposition that class could give him ; that, how- 
ever, it was possible that when the business was 
once commenced, some of them might join us on 
speculation, but that it would be sorely against 
their real sentiments. He then asked me, " Did 
I know Arthur O'Connor* ? " I replied I did, and 

* Arthur O'Connor (1763-1852), a Cork man, a member of 
the Irish Parliament, where he delivered the remarkable speech 
referred to in the May of 1795. (See Lecky, Ireland in the 
Eighteenth Century, vol. hi. p. 341.) " You must be blind 
not to perceive that the whole European mind has undergone 
a revolution, neither confined to this nor that country, but as 
general as the great causes which have given it birth, and still 
continue to feed its growth." He joined the United Irishmen 
the following year ; was arrested in '98, and kept in prison 

167 



THE GREAT ADVENTURE BEGINS [1796 

that I entertained the highest opinion of his talents, 
principles, and patriotism. He asked me, " Did he 
not some time ago make an explosion in the Irish 
Parliament f M I replied, he made the ablest and 
honestest speech, to my mind, that ever was made 
in that House. " Well," said he, " will he join us ? " 
I answered, I hoped as he was " foncihement Irian- 
dais" that he undoubtedly would. So it seems 
O'Connor's speech is well known here. If ever 
I meet him, as I hope I may, I will tell him what 
Hoche said, and the character that he bears in 
France. It must be highly gratifying to his feelings. 
We then spoke of the aristocracy of Ireland, and 
I assured him, as I had done Clarke, that what 
I apprehended was, not the aggrandizement, but 
the massacre of that body, from the just indigna- 
tion of the people, whom they have so long and 
so cruelly oppressed, adding that it was what I 
sincerely deprecated, but what I feared was too 
likely to happen. He said, certainly the spilling 
of blood was at all times to be avoided, as much 
as possible ; that he did conceive, in such ex- 
plosions as that which was likely to take place in 
Ireland, it was not to be supposed but that some 
individuals would be sacrificed, but the less the 
better, and it was much wiser to secure the persons 



for four years, after which he entered the French army, rose 
to the rank of general, married the daughter of the mathe- 
matician and journalist Condorcet, and after an old age of 
retirement, died peaceably in exile. 
168 



1796] CONTRARY EMOTIONS 

of those I mentioned, or to suffer them to emigrate 
to England, as they would, no doubt, be ready to 
do, than to put them to death ; in which I most 
sincerely agreed, for I am like Parson Adams, "I 
do not desire to have the blood even of the wicked upon 
me" Hoche mentioned also that great mischief 
had been done to the principles of liberty, and 
additional difficulties thrown in the way of the 
French Revolution by the quantity of blood 
spilled ; " for," added he, " when you guillotine 
a man, you get rid of an individual, it is true, but 
then you make all his friends and connections 
enemies for ever to the Government." A sentence 
well worth considering. I am heartily glad to find 
Hoche of this humane temperament, because I hope 
I am humane myself, and trust we shall be able to 
prevent unnecessary bloodshed in Ireland, which I 
shall most sincerely exert my best endeavours to do. 
July 2$th. Running about all this morning on 
trade affairs. Damn it ! Saw Clarke ; he tells me 
I am to travel with Hoche, and that we set off the 
30th, in five days. Huzza ! To be sure I am not 
proud of that. Called at Monroe's ; the Secretary 
tells me there is a person arrived this week, who has 
a letter for me. My heart is up in my mouth. 
Please God I will run off the minute I swallow my 
dinner. I am in a frenzy till I get my letter. I have 
not had one line since I left New York, now six 
months. How is my dearest life and soul, and our 
darling little babies ? The little things ; my life 
169 



THE GREAT ADVENTURE BEGINS [1796 

lies in those children. Well, I hope I shall hear 
news of them to-night. Poor little Will, and my 
Fantom, and my girl that I dote upon, and their 
darling mother. Oh that I had my letter ! Oh 
that I had my letter ! (Evening.) My lover gone 
out ; left a note, that I would call to-morrow at 
eleven, and desiring him to leave the letter for me 
in case he should be obliged to go out before that 
time. I know nothing that agitates me so much as 
an incident of this kind. I am projecting all possible 
kinds of accidents and misfortunes ; it is terrible ; 
I will not torment myself any longer, that's flat. 
I will go walk in the Champs Elysees to dissipate 
my chagrin. Home ; early bed ! 

July 26th. Up at six, and called on Hoche at 
seven ; he was gone out, so I had my walk for 
nothing. " / hope my early rising will do me no 
harm. 91 I want to settle with him about our 
journey. Called at eleven on Colonel Fulton, and 
got my letter, which is from Hamilton Rowan ; 
it is dated March 30th, nearly four months since, 
at which date all my family were well. He tells 
me also that my brother Matthew arrived in 
America in December last ; that gives me most 
unspeakable satisfaction, as he will be a protection 
for my wife and family during my absence, or in 
case of the worst happening to me in this contest 
wherein I am about to embark. 

Heigho ! I shall soon bid "adieu to the village 
delights." I know not how it is, I have spent five 
170 



1796] BURSTING WITH IMPATIENCE 

dreary months in Paris without forming one con- 
nection, male or female, that I care a farthing 
about, or that cares a farthing about me, yet I find 
myself low-spirited, now that I am about to quit 
it ; that is curious enough, but I have often had 
occasion to remark the same sentiment. I am as 
dull to-night as a cat. 

July 29th. Running about all the morning, 
making arrangements for my departure. 

July 30th. Called on General Hoche. He tells 
me I am to travel with General Cherin, Chef de 
T^tat-Major, and that we set off about the 12th 
of next month. I had rather set off this morning. 
He desired me to call on Cherin, and present myself 
as the person of whom he had spoken, which I 
did accordingly, but Cherin was gone out. Called 
at the War Office, and got an order for three 
months , pay. Dined with Madgett, and went 
in the evening to the opera. Castor, a dull piece, and 
very heavy music, by Rameau. I did not like it 
at all. 

July 31st. Received my pay, "and are all as drunk 
as so many swabbers." I insist upon it that is a very- 
good quotation, from Rigdum Funnidis. The 
monotony of my life just now will appear from 
the stupidity of those memorandums, and especially 
from the dullness of my jokes. I cannot express 
how much I long to be "en route" 

August 1st. (Sings) " Oh, merry be the Jirst, and 
merry be the last, and merry be the first of August." 
171 






THE GREAT ADVENTURE BEGINS [1796 

August 2nd, 3rd. Blank. My time drags just now 
most horribly. 

August $tk Blank. Terrible ! Terrible ! I 
feel myself absolutely sick at those delays. Dined 
with Madgett and three other Irishmen in the 
Champs Elysees. Stupid as a horse. Everybody 
is talking of our business. I hear of it from fifty 
different quarters. That is most terribly provoking. 

August 6th. Blank. Damn it ! I am weary of 
complaining that I am weary. I will not make 
another memorandum until something happens — 
that's flat. 

August jth, Sth. Saw Hoche and Cherin together 
this morning. Both very civil, and no news. 
Hoche, I believe, sets off the nth. 

August nth, 12th, 13th. Saw Cherin this morn- 
ing ; he tells me it may be ten days yet before 
we get off. Hell ! hell ! hell ! How shall I get 
over these eternal delays ? Hoche set off yesterday. 

August 14th, i$th. Put on my regimentals for the 
first time ; as pleased as a little boy in his first 
breeches ; foolish enough, but not unpleasant. 
Walked about Paris to show myself; huzza ! 
Citoyen Wolfe Tone, Chef de Brigade in the service 
of the Republic ! 

August 21st, 22nd, 23rd. Met Cherin to-day 
driving about in his cabriolet ; he stopped me, 
and asked me was I ready to set off ? I answered, 
" In five minutes, and that I only waited for his 
orders." He then desired me to call on him to- 
172 



1796] LEAVES PARIS AT LAST 

morrow at eleven, in order to settle about our 
departure ; so perhaps we may set off before the 
30th. The armies continue victorious in all 
quarters. 

August 24th. Saw Ch£rin ; our departure is 
fixed for the first September. " The devil take 
Henry of Lancaster ana thee I" " Patience is stale, 
and I am weary of it." 

August 26th to 31st. Blank, blank, blank, blank, 
blank, blank. 

September 1st. Blank. 

September 2nd. Here I am yet. 

September 12th. Called on Cheron by appoint- 
ment ; he is gone to the country for two or three 
days. Hell ! hell ! hell ! 

September 16th. Got my order and presented it 
to the Directors of the post. There is a courier 
for to-morrow, with whom I secured my place ; 
packed up my kit as gay as a lark. 

September ijth. Took leave of Madgett, Aherne, 
and Sullivan ; wrote two letters of acknowledg- 
ment to Carnot and De la Croix, thanking them for 
their kindness, etc. At three o'clock in the after- 
noon left Paris. I have now done with Paris, at 
least for some time, and God knows whether I shall 
ever revisit it ; but, at all events, I shall ever look 
back on the time I spent there with the greatest 
satisfaction. I believe there is no part of my con- 
duct that I need wish to recall, at least with regard 
to business. As to pleasure or amusement, I had 
173 






THE GREAT ADVENTURE BEGINS [1796 

very little. I formed, and endeavoured to form, 
no connections. I visited and was visited by 
nobody, French or foreigner, and left Paris, after 
seven months' residence, without being acquainted 
with a single family. That is singular enough. 
The theatres formed my grand resource against 
the monotony of my situation ; but, on the whole, 
I passed my time dull enough. Well, if ever I 
return, I will make myself amends. I am now like 
the Turkish spy, " who passed forty-Jive years at 
Paris without being known or suspected" I dare say 
Mr. Pitt knew I was there, as close as I kept ; if he 
did, it was by no fault or indiscretion of mine. It 
is singular enough that, having passed my time in 
a manner so monotonous, and not leaving behind 
me a single person whom, on the score of personal 
regard, I had reason to regret, I yet quit Paris with 
something like reluctance. But I made that remark 
before. Allons ! I am now afloat again : let us see 
what will come of this voyage. 



174 



XIII 

PREPARING FOR THE VOYAGE 
TO IRELAND 

September 20th. At three this morning arrived at 
Rennes, having passed three nights agreeably with- 
out sleep. " A hundred and twenty miles in thirty- 
four hours is pretty smart riding, but nothing to the 
fatigue of recruiting ." I do not think that quotation 
any great things myself, but let it pass. " Well, 
now I am in Arden ; the more fool I ; when I was at 
home I was in a better place." Went to bed, and slept 
like a dragon till eleven. Rose and sent for my 
adjoint, Mac Sheehy, who has been here some days. 
He tells me all is going on, as he believes, prosper- 
ously. General Hoche is gone out fishing, and does 
not return till night. I am glad Hoche is a fisher- 
man, because I am one myself. Wrote a note to 
let him know I am arrived, and gave it to Mac 
Sheehy to deliver. Dined alone, deliciously, and 
drank a bottle of excellent claret, with clivers 
patriotic and constitutional toasts. 

September 21st. Called on General Hoche, and 
175 



PREPARING FOR IRELAND [1796 

sat with him for about a quarter of an hour ; very- 
civil, but no news as yet. I am to be for some time 
Mr. Smith, an American. Called on Colonel Shee, 
uncle to General Clarke, who is here. He tells me 
he was stopped on this side of Laval, at two o'clock 
in the day, by seven Chouans, who robbed him of 
every article of his property, except a box of papers 
relating to our business, which he was bringing to 
Hoche, and which escaped their search, as it were 
by miracle. It was most fortunate ! This was 
but a few days since ; so I have had a good escape. 
I doubt if I should be able, single-handed, to conquer 
seven Chouans, armed with firelocks, as he tells 
me his lovers were. Dined at headquarters with 
the staff, Hoche, H£douville, Mermet, etc. All very 
slovenly and unsoldier-like, but nobody minds a 
dirty plate or thing of that kind here. A la guerre, 
comme a la guerre, as the French say. 

September 24th. The season is slipping away fast 
through our fingers. However, I believe they are 
doing their best. 

September 26th. The General set off this morning 
for Brest. I hope in God he may hurry those 
fellows. I dread the equinoctial gales passing over 
and finding us unprepared. 

September 2%th, 29th, 2,0th. Blank. 

October 1st, 2nd. Blank ! Blank ! 

October 6th, 7th. I like old Colonel Shee more 
and more ; his conversation is my sole resource 
against the ennui which devours me. He was 
176 



1796] NEW FRIENDS 

Secretary to the late Duke of Orleans,* for whose 
memory he cherishes the sincerest regard. He has 
amused me these two days with an infinity of 
anecdotes relating to that unfortunate Prince, who, 
I almost begin to believe, has been most grossly 
calumniated by all parties in the Revolution. The 
zeal and affection which Shee manifests for the 
honour of a man who can no longer serve or preju- 
dice him, is at least a strong proof of the goodness 
of his own character. It is highly interesting to see 
the earnestness and warmth with which he labours 
to impress me with a good opinion of the Duke, 
and, indeed, from his reports, I am satisfied, not 
only of his innocence as to the accusation on which 
he was guillotined, but as to his general character 
as a man of honour, courage, and probity. I think 
I see that he has been the victim of a double cabal, 
of the court, and of the Jacobins. Mais parlons 
d 'autre chose. 

October 8th. I must change my apartment to- 
morrow to make room for General Debelle, 
brother-in-law to Hoche, who is just arrived. A 
la bonne heure. " They talk of further alterations, 
which causes many speculations." My quotations 
latterly are as pert and as stupid as you please, but 
how can I quote when I am in this horrible sus- 
pense ? 

* Louis Philippe Joseph, Duke of Orleans (1747-93), who 
changed his name to Philippe Egalite at the Revolution, but 
did not escape the guillotine. 

(4.409) I?7 j 4 






PREPARING FOR IRELAND [1796 

October 17th. Our expedition, as well as the life 
of the General, has had a most providential escape. 
Last night, between nine and ten, as he was returning 
from the Comedie, with General Debelle, and 
Hedouville, a ruffian, who was posted at a corner, 
fired a pistol at him, within five or six yards, which 
fortunately missed, and the villain instantly ran off, 
but was stopped by two of the aides-de-camp, who 
happened to come that way, before he had run one 
hundred yards. The pistol was likewise found 
where he had dropped it. On his being seized 
and examined, he confessed that he was hired by 
a person, whom he described, to assassinate General 
Hoche, and was to have fifty louis for his reward. 
He threw himself on his knees before Hoche, who 
behaved incomparably well, and desired him to 
rise, as no man should kneel to him, and tell the 
whole truth ; assuring him that he had not himself 
the least resentment against him. The fellow then 
repeated his story exactly, and the two aides-de- 
camp set out with a guard in quest of the other 
villain, whom they found in bed, and brought 
to headquarters. A magistrate being sent for, the 
two were confronted, and the latter denying every- 
thing, they were both, after a long examination, 
committed to prison. It seems the fellow who fired 
the shot is a workman employed in the arsenal, the 
other is lately from Paris, and says he is a horse 
dealer ; in order to induce the former to commit 
the murder, he told him that he was a Royalist, 
178 



1796J LEAVES FOR BREST 

and that it was for the King's service to assassinate 
Hoche, which, together with the promise of fifty 
louis, determined him. The name of the former 
is Moreau, and of the latter Teyssierd. Nothing 
could be better than the General's behaviour 
through all this affair. For my part I do not see 
what the Royalists could promise themselves from 
his death ; at the same time it is beyond all doubt 
that this villain, Teyssierd, has come down from 
Paris expressly to have him assassinated. I do not 
at all suspect the English of assassination, but cer- 
tainly, at this moment, they are much more 
interested in Hoche's death than that miserable 
Louis XVIII. In short, I know not what to think 
of the motives of this abominable affair ; a few 
days may probably explain it further. 

October i%th. In consequence of the affair of 
yesterday a search was made in the lodgings of 
Teyssierd, and a case of pistols, two fusils, and three 
air guns, were found, the two last articles buried 
in the garden ; there were also among his papers 
the directions of several persons in Paris and London. 
I should be sorry, much as I detest the English 
nation, to suspect them of such vile and horrible 
means of effectuating their purposes, as that of 
assassination ; yet they have already done several 
things in this war as bad, at Quiberon, and else- 
where. I am very much afraid the English Cabinet 
is implicated in this infernal business, and more so 
as the General received notice a few days since, from 
179 



PREPARING FOR IRELAND [1796 

the Minister of Justice at Paris, to be on his guard, 
as an attempt was intended to be made on his life 
by some English agents. 

October 22nd. Set out from Rennes, on my way 
to Brest, with Privat and Marie Hoche. Travelled 
very agreeably through a beautiful country covered 
with wood, the very seat of Chouannerie. The 
farms beautiful ; the towns, for the names whereof 
I refer to the map, mean, and the villages abomin- 
able. England far beyond France in that respect, 
but very inferior in all the other beauties of a land- 
scape. 

October 2,0th. After halting last night at Lander- 
neau, arrived this day at one o'clock at Brest, 
having been just ten days on the road. 

November 1st, 2nd. I have been hard at work ever 
since my arrival, on an address to the Irish people, 
which is to be printed here and distributed on our 
landing. I have worked this day like a horse, 
and I am as stupid to-night as a horse, and in 
wretched low spirits ; every hour that passes is like 
an age to my impatience ; I do not even sleep. 

November 6th. Chatting with Col. Shee. He 
told me that the General wished to find somebody 
who would go directly to Ireland, as he had a safe 
American who would sail at a minute's warning, 
and also bring back the person who might go, and 
he was very desirous of intelligence of the state of 
the country at this moment. I mentioned Mac 
Sheehy, and he immediately went for the General, 
180 



1796] NEWS OF THE ENGLISH 

who came, and we agreed that if Mac Sheehy 
had no objection, he should be dispatched to- 
morrow. I went immediately and found Mac 
Sheehy, to whom I opened the business, as from 
myself, and he agreed without difficulty to go if 
the General desired it. I informed the General of 
his assent, at dinner, and he desired me to thank 
him in his name, and desire him to hold himself 
in readiness for to-morrow, which I did accordingly, 
and to-morrow we shall see what are his instructions. 
Mac Sheehy has behaved very well in this business. 
November jth. The General has been out on a 
boating party all day, until six o'clock in the even- 
ing. On his return he desired me to find Mac 
Sheehy, which I did accordingly, and he told him 
that he must sail that night, as everything was 
ready, and gave him verbal instructions, which in 
my mind were very insufficient, and it is the first 
time I have had reason to find fault with Hoche. 
I brought Mac Sheehy to my lodgings, and made 
him change his dress from head to foot, equipping 
him with shirts, boots, stockings, waistcoats, coat 
and cloak, all either Irish, or made after the Irish 
fashion. I then gave him the address of Oliver 
Bond and Richard McCormick. I desired him to 
call on the former first, and tell him he came from 
me at Brest, and, to satisfy Bond, I desired him to 
tell him that when Jackson was seized, and Hamilton 
Rowan and Dr. Reynolds escaped, he advised me 
to do the same, and offered me money for that 
181 



PREPARING FOR IRELAND [1796 

purpose, if I wanted it. For McCormick, I desired 
him to tell him that a few days before I left Dublin 
for America, I took him alone into his garden, and 
acquainted him with my plan of pushing on, if 
possible, for France, and that I had also, about the 
middle of December last, written to him by my 
brother from Philadelphia, acquainting him with 
my progress. That I think will satisfy them that 
he has seen me. 

November 8th. Grimel, the merchant who pro- 
cured the American vessel for the General, tells me 
that Mac Sheehy was offlast night by half-past nine, 
so that business so far goes on well. 

November 10th. Saw the Legion Noire reviewed ; 
about i, 800 men. They are the banditti intended 
for England, and sad blackguards they are. They 
put me strongly in mind of the Green-boys of 
Dublin. 

November 12th. Examined, at Mr. Shee's apart- 
ment, an American captain, who is only five or 
six days from London. He gives us no great 
encouragement. His account is that Sir J. Jervis is 
off Ushant, as he heard, with eleven or twelve sail 
of the line, and he, himself, coming down channel, 
fell in with three different little squadrons, two of 
four ships and one of three, which were standing 
to the westward under easy sail, and were going, 
as he supposed, to join Admiral Jervis. If that be 
so, they will keep us here as long as they please, for, 
when united, they will make twenty-two sail of 
182 



1796] RECRUITING AMONG THE PRISONERS 

the line, and our expedition is but twelve. In that 
case our only chance is to wait for the first hard 
gale of wind which may blow them off the coast, 
and then make a run for it. 

November 13th. Went, by order of the General, 
among the prisoners of war at Pontanezen, near 
Brest, and offered their liberty to as many as were 
willing to serve aboard the French fleet. Sixty- 
accepted the offer, of whom fifty were Irish. I 
made them drink heartily before they left the 
prison, and they were mustered and sent aboard 
the same evening. I never saw the national char- 
acter stronger marked than in the careless gaiety 
of those poor fellows. Half-naked and half-starved 
as I found them, the moment that they saw the 
wine before them all their cares were forgotten ; 
the instant I made the proposal, they accepted it 
without hesitation ; the Englishmen balanced, and 
several of them asked, in the true style of their 
country, " What would I give them ? " It is but 
justice to others of them to observe that they said 
nothing should ever tempt them to fight against 
their King and country. I told them they were 
perfectly at liberty to make their choice, as I put 
no constraint on any man, In the event, of about 
one hundred English, ten men and boys offered 
themselves, and, of about sixty Irish, fifty, as I have 
observed ; not one Scotchman, though there were 
several in the prison. When I called for the wine 
my English recruits begged for something to eat 

183 



PREPARING FOR IRELAND [1796 

at the same time, which I ordered for them. Poor 
Pat never thought of eating, but when his head was 
a little warm with the wine, he was very urgent to 
be permitted to go amongst the Englishmen and 
flog those who refused to enter, which, of course, 
I prevented, though with some little difficulty. 
" Arrahy blood an 'ounds. Captain dear, wont you 
let me have one knock at the blackguards ? " I thought 
myself on Ormond Quay once more. Oh, if we 
once arrive safe on the other side, what soldiers we 
will make of our poor fellows ! They all said they 
hoped I was going with them, wherever it was. I 
answered that I did not desire one man to go where 
I was not ready to show the way, and they replied 
with three cheers. It is to be observed that I never 
mentioned the object of the expedition ; they 
entered the service merely from the adventurous 
spirit of the nation and their hatred of the English, 
without any idea that they had a chance of seeing 
Ireland again. 

November 24th, 25th. Colonel Shee tells me to- 
day that he has it from Bruix, one of our admirals, 
that we shall sail in six days. Would to God it were 
to-night ! There is a fine steady breeze blowing 
right out of the harbour. In six days it will be the 
1st of December. The 1st of January I left Sandy 
Hook. The 1st of February I arrived at Havre, 
and, if we arrive safe at our destination, it is 
possible that on the 1st of January next I may be 
once more in Dublin. Quanquam, oh ! 
184 



1796] HOCHE GOES "CATERWAULING" 

November 26th. How quietly Colonel Shee and 
myself sat by the fire discussing how we might do 
the greatest possible mischief to the unfortunate 
wretches on whom our plans are intended to 
operate. Well, they may thank themselves ; they 
are accomplices with their execrable Government, 
which has shown us the way in all those direful 
extremities, and there is not a man of them but 
would willingly exterminate both the French and 
Irish. Yet once again ! The conflagration of such 
a city as Bristol ! It is no slight affair ; thousands 
and thousands of families, if the attempt succeeds, 
will be reduced to beggary. I cannot help it ! 
If it must be, it must, and I will never blame the 
French for any degree of misery which they may 
inflict on the people of England. I do not think 
my morality or feeling is much improved by my 
promotion to the rank of Adjutant-General. The 
truth is, I hate the very name of England ; I hated 
her before my exile ; I hate her since ; and I will 
hate her always. 

November 2jth, 28th, 29th. I have no memo- 
randums to make that are worth a farthing ; 
always writing and writing. I declare I am tired 
of my life, or, as the French say, je mennuye de ma 
personne. Apropos of the General : there is a 
charming little aristocrat, with whom he is per- 
fectly well, although all her relations are Chouans. 
In all the hurry of our expedition, he contrived to 
steal off, and spend two days and nights with her. 
185 



PREPARING FOR IRELAND [1796 

Mr. Shee and I were in a mortal fright at his absence, 
for, knowing where he was gone, and on what 
business, we apprehended some of the Chouans 
might waylay and assassinate him. It was damned 
indiscreet in him, but God forbid I should be the 
man to accuse him, for I have been buffeted myself 
so often by the foul fiend, that it would be rather 
indecent of me to censure him. (Sings) ' 'Tis 
woman that seduces all mankind" I do not think, 
however (but God knows), that, under the present 
circumstances, I would have gone caterwauling for 
two days among the Chouans. Hoche has all the 
right in the world (and why not ?) to do as he 
pleases with his own life, but not to knock our 
expedition on the head. I was very angry with him, 
which, as I never did a foolish thing myself in my 
life for the sake of a woman, was but reasonable. 
It is all nonsense ; for they do what they please 
with us, and it is in vain talking about it ; however, 
I hope he may stop here whilst he is well. 

December ist, 2nd. Received my order to embark 
on board the Indomitable of 80 guns, Captain 
Bedout. Packed up directly, and wrote a long 
letter of directions to my wife, in which I detailed 
everything I thought necessary, and advised her, 
in case of anything happening me, to return to 
America, and settle in Georgia or Carolina. I 
enclosed this under cover to Madgett, and, at two 
o'clock, arrived on board. 

December $th to Sth. The uniformity of my life, 
186 



1796] EMBARKS 

at anchor in the road of Brest, does not furnish 
much matter for observation. 

December 12th. The £tat-Major came aboard 
last night ; we are seven in the great cabin, includ- 
ing a lady in boy's clothes, the wife of a Commis- 
saire, one Ragoneau. By what I see we have a 
little army of Commissaries, who are going to Ire- 
land to make their fortunes. If we arrive safe, I 
think I will keep my eye a little upon these gentle- 
men. In consequence of the arrival of Richery, 
our squadron will be augmented with two if not 
three ships, and the army with 1,700 men, which, 
with 13,400 already on board, will make 15,100 — 
a force more than sufficient for our purpose, if, as 
I am always obliged to add, we have the good 
fortune to reach our destination in safety. 



187 






XIV 

TO BANTRY BAY 

December 13th, 14th. To-day the signal is made 
to heave short and be ready to put to sea ; the 
report is we shall make sail at four o'clock. (Even- 
ing.) Having nothing better to employ me, I 
amuse myself scribbling these foolish memoran- 
dums. In the first place, I must remark the infinite 
power of female society over our minds, which I 
see every moment exemplified in the effect which 
the presence of Madame Ragoneau has on our 
manners ; not that she has any claim to respect other 
than as she is a woman, for she is not very hand- 
some, she has no talents, and (between friends) 
she was originally ajille dejoie at Paris. Yet we are 
all attentive and studious to please her ; and I am 
glad, in short, she is aboard, as I am satisfied she 
humanizes us not a little. General Watrin paid us 
a visit this evening, with the band of his regiment, 
and I went down into the great cabin, where all 
the officers mess, and where the music was playing. 
I was delighted with the effect it seemed to have on 
them. The cabin was ceiled with the firelocks 






1796] THE FIRST CALAMITY 

intended for the expedition ; the candlesticks were 
bayonets stuck in the table ; the officers were in 
their jackets and bonnets de police ; some playing 
cards, others singing to the music, others conversing, 
and all in the highest spirits. Once again I was 
delighted with the scene. At length Watrin and 
his band went off, and as it was a beautiful moon- 
light night, the effect of the music on the water, 
diminishing as they receded from our vessel, was 
delicious. We are still at anchor — bad ! bad ! 

December i$th. At n o'clock this morning the 
signal was made to heave short, and I believe we are 
now going to sail in downright earnest. 

December 16th. At two, signal to get under way. 
At half after two, made sail, the wind still favourable, 
but slack. Settled our role de combat. Chasseloup 
and Vaudray, with their Adjoints, are on the lower 
deck ; Simon and I, with ours, on the main deck ; 
Cherin, I believe, with the Captain. I had rather 
be on the quarter-deck or poop, where I could see 
something ; however, I said nothing. We are all 
in full regimentals, with our laced hats, etc., which 
is to encourage the troops. 

December ijth. Last night passed through the 
Raz,* a most dangerous and difficult pass, wherein 
we were within an inch of running on a sunken 

* Pointe du Raz, at the southern extremity of the Bay 
of Douarnenez. As he finds some forty-eight hours later 
it was fatal for the Sdduisant, which sank with over five 
hundred men. 

189 



TO BANTRY BAY [1796 

rock, where we must, every soul, have inevitably 
perished. 

December iSth. At nine this morning a fog so 
thick that we cannot see a ship's length before us. 
This damned fog continues without interruption. 
(At night.) Foggy all day, and no appearance of our 
comrades. The Captain has opened a packet con- 
taining instructions for his conduct in case of separa- 
tion, which order him to cruise for five days off 
Mizen Head, and, at the end of that time, proceed 
to the mouth of the Shannon, where he is to remain 
three more, at the end of which time, if he does 
not see the fleet, or receive further orders by a 
frigate, he is to make the best of his way back 
to Brest. But we must see in that case whether 
Bouvet and Grouchy may not take on themselves 
to land the troops. 

December igth. This morning, at eight, signal 
of a fleet in the ofhng ; Branlebas General ; rose 
directly and made my toilet, so now I am ready, 
on pour les Anglais, ou pour les Anglaises. I see about 
a dozen sail, but whether they are friends or 
enemies God knows. It is a stark calm, so that we 
do not move an inch even with our studding sails ; 
but here we He rolling like so many logs on the 
water. At half-past ten we floated near enough to 
recognize the signals, and, to my infinite satis- 
faction, the strange fleet proves to be our comrades, 
so now nous en sommes quittes pour la peur, as the 
French say ; counted sixteen sail, including the 
190 



1796] THE FIRST CALAMITY 

Admiral's frigate, so the General is safe.* At half- 
past one, hailed by a lugger, which informed us of 
the loss of the Seduisant, a seventy-four of our 
squadron, the first night of our departure, with five 
hundred and fifty men of the ninety-fourth Demi- 
brigade, of whom she saved thirty-three. Our 
force leaving Brest water was as follows : — Indomp- 
tahle, 80 guns ; Nestor, Cassard, Droits de Y Homme, 
Tourville, Eole, Fougueux, Mucius, Redoubtable, 
Patriote, Pluton, Constitution, Trajan, Watigny, 
Pegaze, Revolution, and the unfortunate Seduisant, 
of 74 guns (17 sail of the line) ; La Cocarde, Bra- 
voure, Immortalite, Bellone, Coquille, Romaine, Sirene, 
Impatiente, Surveillante, Charente, Resolue, Tartare, 
and Fraternite, frigates of 36 guns (13 frigates) ; 
Scevola, and Fidele, armes en flutes, f Mutine, Renard, 
Atalante, Voltigeur, and Affronteur, corvettes, and 
Nicodeme, Justine, Ville d' Orient, Suffren, Experiment, 
and Alegre, transports, making in all 43 sail. Of 
these there are missing, this day, at three o'clock, the 
Nestor and Seduisant, of 74 ; the Fraternite, Cocarde, 
and Romaine, frigates, the Mutine and Voltigeur, 
corvettes, and three other transports. J 
December 20th. Last night, in moderate weather, 

* Later he finds that the Fraternite, Hoche aboard, is not this 
ship. They never met Hoche at sea again. 

f A flute is a ship, carrying only part of her armament, used 
as a transport. 

I Probably the ships were named txtlie, Redoutable, Pegaze, 
Sirene, Fidele, Renard, Nicomedie, Experiment, Allegre — and what 
about Suffren ? Later Tone mentions the Vantour, a lugger of 
seventeen guns. 

191 



TO BANTRY BAY [1796 

we contrived to separate again, and this morning, 
at eight o'clock, we are but fifteen sail in company, 
with a foul wind and hazy. I am in horrible ill- 
humour, and it is no wonder. 

December 21st. Last night, just at sunset, signal 
for seven sail in the ofhng ; all in high spirits, in 
hopes that it is our comrades ; stark calm all the 
fore part of the night ; at length a breeze sprung 
up, and this morning, at daybreak, we are under 
Cape Clear, distant about four leagues, so I have 
at all events once more seen my country ; but the 
pleasure I should otherwise feel at this is totally 
destroyed by the absence of the General, who has 
not joined us, and of whom we know nothing. 
The sails we saw last night have disappeared, and 
we are all in uncertainty. It is most delicious 
weather, with a favourable wind, and everything, 
in short, that we can desire, except our absent 
comrades. We are thirty-five sail in company, 
and seven or eight absent. Is that such a separation 
of our force as, under all the circumstances, will 
warrant our following the letter of our orders, to 
the certain failure of the expedition ? If Grouchy* 
and Bouvet be men of spirit and decision, they will 
land immediately, and trust to their success for 

* Emmanuel, Marquis de Grouchy (1766-1847), second-in- 
command in this expedition, aboard the Immortalite, had first 
seen service with Hoche in La Vendee. Fought in Italy, Russia, 
Germany, and tried to hold the army together even after 
Napoleon's second abdication, after which he retired to America. 
He lived in France from 18 19 to his death. 
192 



1796] IN BANTRY BAY 

justification. If they be not, and if this day passes 
without our seeing the General, I much fear the 
game is up. I am in undescribable anxiety, and 
Cherin, who commands aboard, is a poor creature, 
to whom it is vain to speak ; not but I believe he 
is brave enough, but he has a little mind. There 
cannot be imagined a situation more provokingly 
tantalising than mine at this moment, within view, 
almost within reach of my native land, and uncer- 
tain whether I shall ever set my foot on it. We 
are now, nine o'clock, at the rendezvous appointed ; 
stood in for the coast till twelve, when we were 
near enough to toss a biscuit ashore ; at twelve 
tacked and stood out again, so now we have begun 
our cruise of five days in all its forms, and shall, in 
obedience to the letter of our instructions, ruin the 
expedition, and destroy the remnant of the French 
navy, with a precision and punctuality which will 
be truly edifying. We opened Bantry Bay, and, in 
all my life, rage never entered so deeply into my 
heart as when we turned our backs on the coast. 
At half after one, the Atalante, one of our missing 
corvettes, hove in sight, so now again we are in 
hopes to see the General. Oh, if he were in 
Grouchy *s place, he would not hesitate one moment. 
Continue making short boards ; the wind foul. 

December 22nd. This morning, at eight, we have 
neared Bantry Bay considerably, but the fleet is 
terribly scattered ; no news of the Fratemite ; I 

believe it is the first instance of an admiral in a clean 
(4,409) ip3 I5 




TO BANTRY BAY [1796 

frigate, with moderate weather, and moonlight 
night, parting company with his fleet. Captain 
Grammont, our first lieutenant, told me his opinion 
is that she is either taken or lost, and, in either event, 
it is a terrible blow to us. All rests now upon 
Grouchy, and I hope he may turn out well ; he has 
a glorious game in his hands, if he has spirits and 
talents to play it. If he succeeds, it will immortalize 
him. We are gaining the Bay by slow degrees, 
with a head wind at east, where it has hung these 
five weeks. To-night we hope, if nothing extra- 
ordinary happens, to cast anchor in the mouth of 
the Bay, and work up to-morrow morning ; 
these delays are dreadful to my impatience. I am 
now so near the shore that I can see, distinctly, two 
old castles, yet I am utterly uncertain whether I shall 
ever set foot on it. According to appearances, 
Bouvet and Grouchy are resolved to proceed ; that 
is a great point gained, however. Two o'clock ; 
we have been tacking ever since eight this morning, 
and I am sure we have not gained one hundred 
yards : the wind is right ahead, and the fleet dis- 
persed, several being far to leeward. At half-past 
six, cast anchor off Bere Island, being still four 
leagues from our landing-place ; at work with 
General Cherin, writing and translating proclama- 
tions, etc., all our printed papers, including my two 
pamphlets, being on board the Fraternite, which is 
pleasant. 
December 23 /y/. Last night it blew a heavy gale 
194 



1796] A DESPERATE PLAN 

from the eastward with snow, so that the moun- 
tains are covered this morning, which will render 
our bivouacs extremely amusing. It is to be 
observed, that of the thirty-two points of the com- 
pass, the E. is precisely the most unfavourable to us. 
In consequence we are this morning separated for 
the fourth time ; sixteen sail, including nine or ten 
of the line, with Bouvet and Grouchy, are at anchor 
with us, and about twenty are blown to sea ; 
luckily the gale set from the shore, so I am in hopes 
no mischief will ensue. The wind is still high, and, 
as usual, right ahead ; and I dread a visit from the 
English, and altogether I am in great uneasiness. 
Oh ! that we were once ashore, let what might 
ensue after ; I am sick to the very soul of this sus- 
pense. The day has passed without the appearance 
of one vessel, friend or enemy, the wind rather 
more moderate, but still ahead. To-night, on 
examining the returns with Waudre, Chef d'Etat- 
Major of the Artillery, I find our means so reduced 
by the absence of the missing, that I think it hardly 
possible to make an attempt here, with any pros- 
pect of success ; in consequence, I took Cherin into 
the Captain's room, and told him frankly my 
opinion of our actual state, and that I thought it 
our duty, since we must look upon the main object 
as now unattainable, unless the whole of our friends 
returned to-morrow, and the English gave us our 
own time, which was hardly to be expected, to see 
what could be best done for the honour and interest 
195 



TO BANTRY BAY [1796 

of the Republic, with the force which remained 
in our hands, and I proposed to him to give me 
the Legion des Francs, a company of the artillerie 
Ugere, and as many officers as desired to come 
volunteers in the expedition, with what arms and 
stores remained, which are now reduced, by 
our separation, to four field pieces, 20,000 firelocks 
at most, 1,000 lb. of powder, and 3,000,000 car- 
tridges, and to land us in Sligo Bay, and let us make 
the best of our way ; if we succeeded, the Republic 
would gain infinitely in reputation and interest, and, 
if we failed, the loss would be trifling, as the expense 
was already incurred, and as for the legion, he knew 
what kind of desperadoes it was composed of, and 
for what purpose ; consequently, in the worst 
event, the Republic would be well rid of them ; 
finally, I added that though I asked the command, 
it was on the supposition that none of the Generals 
would risk their reputation on such a desperate 
enterprise, and that if another was found, I would 
be content to go as a simple Volunteer. This was 
the outline of my proposal, which I pressed on him 
with such arguments as occurred to me, concluding 
by observing that, as a foreigner in the French 
service, my situation was a delicate one, and if I 
were simply an officer, I would obey in silence the 
orders of my superiors, but, from my connections 
in Ireland, having obtained the confidence of the 
Directory, so far as to induce them to appoint 
me to the rank of Chef de Brigade, and of General 
196 






1796] COUNCIL OF WAR 

Hoche who had nominated me Adjutant-General, 
I thought it my duty, both to France and Ireland, 
to speak on this occasion, and that I only offered 
my plan as a pis aller, in case nothing better suggested 
itself. Cherin answered that I did very right to 
give my opinion, and that as he expected a council 
of war would be called to-morrow, he would bring 
me with him, and I should have an opportunity to 
press it. The discourse rested there, and to-morrow 
we shall see more, if we are not agreeably surprised, 
early in the morning, by a visit from the English, 
which is highly probable. 

December 24th. This morning the whole Etat- 
Major has been miraculously converted, and it was 
agreed, in full council, that General Cherin, Colonel 
Waudre, Chef d'Etat Major of the Artillery, and 
myself, should go aboard the Itnmortalite, and 
press General Grouchy in the strongest manner, to 
proceed on the expedition, with the ruins of our 
scattered army. Accordingly, we made a signal 
to speak with the Admiral, and in about an hour 
we were aboard. I must do Grouchy the justice 
to say, that the moment we gave our opinion in 
favour of proceeding, he took his part decidedly, 
and like a man of spirit ; he instantly set about 
preparing the ordre de bataiUe, and we finished it 
without delay. We are not more than 6,500 strong, 
but they are tried soldiers, who have seen fire, and 
I have the strongest hopes that, after all, we shall 
bring our enterprise to a glorious termination. It 
197 



TO BANTRY BAY (1796 

is a bold attempt, and truly original. All the time 
we were preparing the ordre de bataille, we were 
laughing most immoderately at the poverty of our 
means, and I believe, under the circumstances, it 
was the merriest council of war that was ever 
held ; but " Des Chevaliers francais telest le caractere." 
Grouchy, the commander-in-chief, never had so 
few men under his orders since he was Adjutant- 
General ; Waudre, who is Lieutenant-Colonel, 
finds himself now at the head of the artillery, which 
is a farious park,* consisting of one piece of eight, 
one of four, and two six-inch howitzers ; when he 
was a Captain he never commanded fewer than ten 
pieces, but now that he is in fact General of the 
artillery, he prefers taking the field with four. He 
is a gallant fellow, and offered, on my proposal 
last night, to remain with me and command his 
company, in case General Grouchy had agreed 
to the proposal I made to Cherin. It is altogether 
an enterprise truly unique ; we have not one 
guinea ; we have not a tent ; we have not a horse 
to draw our four pieces of artillery ; the General- 
in-chief marches on foot ; we leave all our baggage 
behind us ; we have nothing but the arms in our 
hands, the clothes on our backs, and a good courage, 
but that is sufficient. With all these original circum- 
stances, such as I believe never were found united in 
an expedition of such magnitude as that we are 

* A park is the space in a camp occupied by the artillery, and 
so, by transference, the artillery of an army. 
198 



I79<5] MAD FELLOWS 

about to attempt, we are all as gay as larks. I never 
saw the French character better exemplified than 
in this morning's business. Well, at last I believe 
we are about to disembark ; God knows how I 
long for it. But this infernal easterly wind con- 
tinues without remorse, and though we have been 
under way three or four hours, and made I believe 
three hundred tacks, we do not seem to my eyes 
to have gained one hundred yards in a straight line. 
One hour and a half of good wind would carry 
us up, and perhaps we may be yet two days. 
Damn it ! damn it ! At six, cast anchor, having 
gained I think not less than fifty yards, to speak 
Vvdthin bounds. The rapidity of our progress is 
the more amazing, when it is considered that we 
have been not much more than eight hours in 
covering that space of ground, and besides, we have 
a cool refreshing breeze from the east, which is 
truly delightful. The more I think of it, the more 
I find it amusing ; as Johnson says : " the negative 
catalogue of our means is extremely copious." In 
addition to what I have mentioned already, we have 
no horses for our cavalry. Huzza ! I apprehend 
we are to-night 6,000 of the most careless fellows 
in Europe, for everybody is in the most extravagant 
spirits on the eve of an enterprise, which, consider- 
ing our means, would make many people serious. 
I never liked the French half so well as to-night, and 
I can scarcely persuade myself that the loungers of 
the Boulevards, and the soldiers I see about me, are 
199 



TO BANTRY BAY [1796 

of the same hemisphere. To judge the French 
rightly, or at least to see the bright part of their 
character, you must see them not in Paris, but in the 
camp. 

December 2$th. These memorandums are a 
strange mixture. Sometimes I am in preposterously 
high spirits, and at other times I am as dejected, 
according to the posture of our affairs. Last night 
I had the strongest expectations that to-day we 
should debark, but at two diis morning I was 
awakened by the wind. I rose immediately, and, 
wrapping myself in my greatcoat, walked for an 
hour in the gallery, devoured by the most gloomy 
reflections. The wind continues right ahead, so 
that it is absolutely impossible to work up to the 
landing-place, and God knows when it will change. 
The same wind is exactly favourable to bring the 
English upon us, and these cruel delays give the 
enemy time to assemble his entire force in this 
neighbourhood, and perhaps (it is, unfortunately, 
more than perhaps) by his superiority in numbers, 
in cavalry, in artillery, in money, in provisions — 
in short, in everything we want — to crush us, sup- 
posing we are even able to effectuate a landing at 
last, at the same time that the fleet will be caught as 
in a trap. Had we been able to land the first day 
and march directly to Cork, we should have in- 
fallibly carried it by a coup de main, and then we 
should have a footing in the country ; but as it is 
— if we are taken, my fate will not be a mild one ; 
200 



1796] RESOLUTIONS 

the best I can expect is to be shot as an emigre rentre 
unless I have the good fortune to be killed in the 
action ; for most assuredly if the enemy will have 
us he must fight for us. Perhaps I may be reserved 
for a trial, for the sake of striking terror into others, 
in which case I shall be hanged as a traitor, and em- 
bowelled, etc. As to the embowelling, "je men 
jiche " ; if ever they hang me, they are welcome 
to embowel me if they please. These are pleasant 
prospects ! Nothing on earth could sustain me 
now but the consciousness that I am engaged in a 
just and righteous cause. For my family I have, 
by a desperate effort, surmounted my natural feel- 
ings so far, that I do not think of them at this 
moment. This day, at twelve, the wind blows a 
gale, still from the east, and our situation is now as 
critical as possible ; for it is morally certain that 
this day or to-morrow on the morning the English 
fleet will be in the harbour's mouth, and then adieu 
to everything. Well, it does not signify complain- 
ing. Our first capital error was in setting sail too 
late from the Bay of Camaret, by which means we 
were obliged to pass the Raz in the night, which 
caused the loss of the Seduisant, the separation of the 
fleet, the capture of the General, and, above all, the 
loss of time resulting from all this, and which is 
never to be recovered. Our second error was in 
losing an entire day in cruising off the bay when 
we might have entered and effected a landing with 
thirty-five sail, which would have secured every 
201 



TO BANTRY BAY [1796 

thing ; and now our third error is having our com- 
mander-in-chief separated from the fitat- Major, 
which renders all communication utterly impossible. 
I see nothing before me, unless a miracle be wrought 
in our favour, but the ruin of the expedition, the 
slavery of my country, and my own destruction. 
Well, if I am to fall, at least I will sell my life as dear 
as individual resistance can make it. So now I 
have made up my mind. I have a merry Christmas 
of it to-day. 

December 26th. Last night, at half after six 
o'clock, in a heavy gale of wind still from the east, 
we were surprised by the Admiral's frigate running 
under our quarter, and hailing the Indomitable 
with orders to cut our cable and put to sea instantly ; 
the frigate then pursued her course, leaving us all 
in the utmost astonishment. Captain Bedout 
resolved to wait at all events till to-morrow morn- 
ing, in order to ascertain whether it was really the 
Admiral who hailed us. The morning is now come, 
the gale continues, and the fog is so thick that we 
cannot see a ship's length ahead ; so here we lie 
in the utmost uncertainty and anxiety. In all 
probability we are now left without Admiral or 
General ; if so, Cherin will command the troops, 
and Bedout the fleet, but at all events there is an 
end of the expedition. Certainly we have been 
persecuted by a strange fatality from the very night 
of our departure to this hour. We have lost two 
commanders-in-chief; of four admirals not one 
202 




I79<5] ADMIRAL NOW LOST 

remains ; we have lost one ship of the line, that 
we know of, and probably many others of which 
we know nothing ; we have been now six days 
in Bantry Bay, within five hundred yards of the 
shore, without being able to effectuate a landing ; 
we have been dispersed four times in four days, and 
at this moment, of forty-three sail, of which the 
expedition consisted, we can muster of all sizes but 
fourteen. There only wants our falling in with the 
English to complete our destruction ; and, to judge 
of the future by the past, there is every probability 
that that will not be wanting. All our hopes are 
now reduced to get back in safety to Brest, and I 
believe we will set sail for that port the instant the 
weather will permit. 

December 2jth. Yesterday several vessels, in- 
cluding the Indomp table, dragged their anchors 
several times, and it was with difficulty they rode 
out the gale. At two o'clock the Revolution, a 
seventy-four, made signal that she could hold no 
longer, and, in consequence of the Commodore's 
permission, who now commands our little squadron, 
cut her only cable and put to sea. In the night the 
Patriote and Pluton, of seventy-four each, were 
forced to put to sea, with the Nicomede flute, so 
that this morning we are reduced to seven sail of 
the line and one frigate. Any attempt here is now 
desperate, but I still think if we were debarked at 
the mouth of the Shannon we might yet recover all. 

December 28th. Last night it blew a perfect 
203 



TO BANTRY BAY [1796 

hurricane. At one this morning a dreadful sea 
took the ship in the quarter, stove in the quarter- 
galley, and one of the deadlights in the great cabin, 
which was instantly filled with water to the depth 
of three feet. The cots of the officers were almost 
all torn down, and themselves and their trunks 
floated about the cabin. For my part, I had just 
fallen asleep when wakened by the shock, of which 
I at first did not comprehend the meaning ; but 
hearing the water distinctly rolling in the cabin 
beneath me, and two or three of the officers 
mounting in their shirts, as wet as if they had risen 
from the bottom of the sea, I concluded instantly 
that the ship had struck and was filling with water, 
and that she would sink directly. As the move- 
ments of the mind are as quick as lightning in such 
perilous moments, it is impossible to describe the 
infinity of ideas which shot across my mind in an 
instant. As I knew all notion of saving my life was 
in vain in such a stormy sea, I took my part instantly 
and lay down in my hammock, expecting every 
instant to go to the bottom ; but I was soon re- 
lieved by the appearance of one of the officers, 
Baudin, who explained to us the accident. I can 
safely say that I had perfect command of myself 
during the few terrible minutes which I passed in 
this situation, and I was not, I believe, more afraid 
than any of those about me. I resigned myself 
to my fate, which I verily thought was inevitable, 
and I could have died like a man. 
204 



1796] HURRICANE AND END 

December 29th. At four this morning the Com- 
modore made the signal to steer for France ; so there 
is an end of our expedition for the present ; perhaps 
for ever. 

January 1, 1797. At eight this morning made the 
island of Ushant, and at twelve opened the goulet. 
We arrive seven sail : the Indomptable, of 80 ; 
the Watigny, Cassard, and Eole y 74 ; the Coquille, 
36 ; the Atalante, 20, and the Vantour lugger of 14. 
We left Brest forty-three sail, of which seventeen 
were of the line. I am utterly astonished that we 
did not see a single English ship of war, going nor 
coming back.* 

* Lecky quotes, and it may be well to requote the letter ot 
Beresford to Auckland, in the Auckland Correspondence (vol. 
iii, 376) : " We had, two days after the French were at anchor 
in Bantry Bay, from Cork to Bantry, less than 3,000 men, two 
pieces of artillery and no magazine of any kind, no firing, no 
hospital, no provisions, etc. No landing was made. Provi- 
dence prevented it. If there had, where was a stand to be 
made ? It is clear that Cork was gone ; who would answer 
afterwards for the loyalty of the country, then in the possession 
of the French ? Would the northern parts of the country have 
remained quiet ? Not an hour. . . .' 



205 



XV 

A QUIET INTERVAL. 

January ist to 31st. It is exactly one month to- 
day since I wrote a line by way of memorandum. 
It will be well supposed I had no great inclination, 
nor, in fact, have I had much to say. On our 
arrival at Brest, after a day or two, there was a litde 
intrigue set on foot against General Grouchy, with 
a view to lessen the merit of his services, in conse- 
quence of which he determined to send me to Paris 
with his dispatches for the Directory and Minister 
of War. Simon was joined with me in commission, 
and Fairin was also dispatched by Cherin, who is at 
the head of this cabal. Grouchy desired me to state 
fairly what I thought of his conduct during our 
stay at Bantry Bay, to the Government ; and I was 
not a little pleased with this proof of his good 
opinion. We set off on the 5th of January, at 
night, and arrived without accident at Paris on the 
1 2th. We went immediately to the Minister of 
War and delivered our letters ; we saw him but 
for an instant ; thence we went to the Directory, 
where we were introduced, and had an audience 
for above half an hour, at which all the Directors 
206 



1797] FAMILY AFFAIRS 

assisted. They were of opinion on that day, from 
the latest accounts, that Hoche had effectuated a 
landing with that part of the army which had been 
separated off Bantry Bay, and in consequence we 
expected orders immediately to return to Brest. 
The next day Doulcet introduced me to Lacuee, 
of the Conseil des Anciens, and the chosen friend 
of Carnot. I took that occasion to do justice to the 
zeal and spirit of General Grouchy, and I hope I 
succeeded. At four I went to dinner with the 
Minister of War, and at eight, by appointment, to 
the Luxembourg, where I had an interview with 
Carnot and Lacuee, for about a quarter of an hour, 
on the subject of Mac Sheehy's mission to Ireland, 
the general result of which I endeavoured to im- 
press upon Carnot. I also stated in the strongest 
manner what I felt in favour of Grouchy ; so that, 
so far, I have done my duty by him. The General, 
at length, on the 15th, arrived, with the Revolution, 
74, at La Rochelle. 

On my arrival at Paris I found a letter from 
my wife at Madgett's, dated at Hamburg, and 
informing me of her safe arrival there, about 
the 20th of December, with my sister and the 
children, my brother having decided to settle 
in America. The transports of joy I felt at the 
news of her arrival were most dreadfully cor- 
rected by the account she gave me of her health, 
which threw me into the most terrible alarms. I 
wrote to her instantly to remain at Hamburg 
207 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

until further orders, and by no means to think 
of exposing herself, in her present weak state, 
and our dear little babies to a journey from 
Hamburg in this dreadful season, a great part of 
the road being through a wild country where there 
is no better accommodation for travelling than open 
waggons. In my wife's letter there is an account 
of an affair relative to my sister. A person who 
came over in the same ship, a young Swiss merchant, 
just beginning the world with little or no property, 
thought proper to fall in love with her ; in conse- 
quence I received by the same conveyance which 
brought my wife's letter, one from him informing 
me of his situation and circumstances, of his love 
for my sister and hers for him, and praying my 
consent. There was an air of candour and honesty 
in his letter which gave me a good opinion of him, 
nor did I consider myself at liberty to stand in the 
way of her happiness, which my wife mentioned 
to me was deeply interested. I wrote, therefore, 
giving my full consent to the marriage, and trust in 
God they may be as happy as I wish them. On 
the 30th I wrote to General Hoche on the subject 
of my present situation, praying him to apply to 
the Government to permit me to retire from the 
service, preserving my pay and appointments, and 
at the same time offering, at any future period 
when I might be useful, to resume my situation. 
The same evening I had a note from the General 
desiring to see me early the next morning, and 
208 



1797] SEES HOCHE AGAIN 

accordingly this day, 31st of January, I went to 
the hotel of the Minister of War, where he is 
lodged, at eight o'clock. On my calling on his 
aide-de-camp, Poitou, who makes his correspond- 
ence, Poitou showed me my letter, with a note 
in the margin, written by the General : " Faire une 
copie pour etre addressee au Directoire, avec la demande 
de sa conservation, motivee sur Yutilite dont il pent etre ; 
lui faire une reponse flatteuse, et lui temoigner ma satis- 
faction de sa conduite." Nothing, certainly, can be 
more agreeable to me. From Poitou I went to the 
General's apartment, who received me like a 
friend ; which I remarked the more because his 
manner to his officers in general is cold and dry. 
" The affair," replied he, " is but suspended. You 
know our difficulties for money ; the repair of 
our fleet and the necessary preparations require some 
considerable time, and in the meantime there are 
15,000 men lying idle below, and, in fact, we cannot 
even feed them there. The Directory has resolved, 
in the meantime, to employ them usefully else- 
where, and has accepted my services ; but be 
assured, the moment the enterprise is resumed, that 
I will return with the first patrouille which 
embarks." This conversation with Hoche has 
given me spirits to recommence these memo- 
randums ; for, in fact, my mind has been in a 
state of stupor ever since I landed at Brest from 
our unfortunate expedition. Buonaparte has 
beaten the Austrians for the five-and-fortieth time 
< 4 > 409 > 209 16 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

this campaign ; killed 7,000 and taken 20,000. I 
mention this, because it may bring about a peace 
with the Emperor, in which case we shall have 
nothing to do but lay alongside of England ; and 
perhaps we are not done with her yet. As soon as 
my affair here is settled, I will set off for Hamburg, 
and bring my dear, dear love and our little ones, and 
I think I will plant myself at Nanterre, beside my 
friend Mr. Shee, in order to keep the communica- 
tion open with General Clarke when he returns ; 
and maybe I may be able to do a little mischief yet. 
I feel this moment like a man who is just awakened 
from a long terrible dream. 

February ist to 8th. Yesterday morning I heard 
of the arrival of my friend Mr. Shee from Rochelle. 
I ran off immediately and found him at General 
Clarke's apartments. He was delighted to see me. 
It seems they had a dreadful voyage of it in the 
Fraternite. They sailed at one time four-and-twenty 
hours, unnoticed, in the very middle of the English 
fleet. We soon came to our business, in which he 
seems as hearty as ever ; he tells me he hopes the 
Government will renew it by and by on a grand 
scale ; and that we shall have the co-operation, 
so long wished for, of the Spanish marine. If that 
be so, all may yet be recovered. As to myself, 
I can at least exist on my appointments, and if I 
had my family here I could be as happy as the 
richest man in Europe ; but the state of my dearest 
love's health keeps me in the most mortal inquietude. 

210 



1797] TOM PAINE 

Two nights successively I have started out of my 
sleep in a cold sweat, with horrible dreams con- 
cerning her. I have read her two letters a thousand 
times, and there is not a phrase regarding her 
health that I have not turned a thousand different 
ways to torment myself; in short, I am truly 
miserable on her account. 

February 9th to 18 th. This day I removed to the 
Hotel des Etats Unis, Rue de Tournon, near the 
Luxembourg, as I have been very inconveniently 
off at Mademoiselle Boivert's, my ancient landlady. 
The 10th instant I had the unspeakable satisfaction 
to receive a letter from my dearest love, acquainting 
me that her health was much better ; she had re- 
ceived my two letters, and tells me my sister's 
marriage was fixed for the second day after : so 
I am in hopes she is settled, and trust in God she 
will be happy. 

March ist, 2nd, yd. I lead the life of a dog here 
in Paris, where I am as much alone as in the deserts 
of Arabia. This night, in downright wretchedness, 
I am come to a tavern, where I write this memo- 
randum in a little box by myself. It is miserable. 
I wonder, shall I ever be so happy as to see my 
dearest love and our little ones once more ? My 
mind is overgrown with docks and thistles for want 
of cultivation, and I cannot help it, for I have not 
a soul to speak to whom I care a farthing about. 
There are about half a dozen Irishmen here in 
Paris that I have seen, but they are sad vulgar 
211 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

wretches, and I have been used to rather better 
company in all respects. Well, let me change the 
subject. I have been lately introduced to the 
famous Thomas Paine,* and like him very well. 
He is vain beyond all belief, but he has reason to be 
vain, and for my part I forgive him. He has done 
wonders for the cause of liberty, both in America 
and Europe, and I believe him to be conscientiously 
an honest man. He converses extremely well ; and 
I find him wittier in discourse than in his writings, 
where his humour is clumsy enough. He read me 
some passages from a reply to the Bishop of 
Llandaff which he is preparing for the press, in 
which he belabours the prelate without mercy. 
He seems to plume himself more on his theology 
than his politics, in which I do not agree with him. 
I mentioned to him that I had known Burke in 
England, and spoke of the shattered state of his 
mind, in consequence of the death of his only son 
Richard. Paine immediately said that it was the 
" Rights of Man " which had broke his heart, and 
that the death of his son gave him occasion to de- 
velop the chagrin which had preyed upon him ever 

* Thomas Paine (173 7-1 809), labelled usually as a " political 
anti-Christian," is better defined as a Deist. In America, in 1766, 
he wrote Common Sense in favour of American Independence ; 
and in England the Rights of Man, in reply to Burke's Reflections. 
This book sold by the million, but Paine had to retire to France 
to avoid prosecution. There imprisoned, 1794, and later 
released, he wrote (and was writing when Tone met him) the 
Age of Reason. What struck Tone also struck most people 
who met Paine — his vanity and intemperance. 
212 



1797] LOVE-LORN 

since the appearance of that work. I am sure the 
" Rights of Man " has tormented Burke exceed- 
ingly, but I have seen myself the workings of a 
father's grief on his spirit, and I could not be 
deceived. Paine has no children ! — Oh ! my little 
babies, if I was to lose my Will, or my little 
Fantom ! Poor little souls, I dote upon them, 
and on their darling mother, whom I love ten 
thousand times more than my own existence. 
They are never out of my thoughts. But to return 
to Paine : He drinks like a fish, a misfortune which 
I have known to befall other celebrated patriots. 
I am told that the true time to see him to advantage 
is about ten at night, with a bottle of brandy and 
water before him, which I can very well conceive. 
March 13 th to 20th. Dined to-day with Cherin, 
who sets off to-night for the army of Sambre et 
Meuse. I hope to follow him in a week at farthest, 
as I am promised my frais de route by that time. 
Came home after dinner, and sat some time alone, 
and devoured with the spleen. Opened my desk, 
and read over all my dearest love's letters. They 
are my constant refuge, but latterly I am most 
terribly alarmed for her health. If I were so 
miserable as to lose her I do not think I could ever 
survive it, and then what would become of our 
dearest little babies ? Darling little things, I dote 
on them. My poor Maria ; there are two post- 
scripts of her writing ; it is impossible to express 
how much I love them all ; shall I ever have the 
213 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

happiness to see them again ? Well, I must not 
think of that now. Sent out for a lemon and sugar, 
and determined to play the part of Lord B. " J 
must have my punch." Oh that my dearest love 
were at the other side of the little table where I am 
writing this : " Quamquam oh ! " There is one 
thing which I have had occasion to remark to-night, 
and a thousand times before, since my arrival in 
France, viz., " That it is not good for man to be alone" 

March 21st to 24th. Received this day a letter 
from my sister, which has thrown me into the 
greatest distress. I much fear that I shall lose my 
best beloved wife ; I cannot write. 

March 26th, 27th, 2%th. Blank. 

April jth. Cologne. 

April 9th. Called on Mr. Shee early, and men- 
tioned to him my present situation. After turning 
it in all possible lights, we agreed that I should write 
a letter to the General, suggesting the necessity of 
opening a communication with Ireland, and 
offering, in case he had not otherwise disposed of 
me, to go in person to Hamburg for that purpose. 
Wrote the letter accordingly, which Mr. Shee 
translated and I signed. 

April 12th. Saw the General to-day, for an 
instant, before dinner. He told me he had read 
my letter, approved of the plan, and had, in conse- 
quence, desired Poitou to make out a permission 
for me to go to Hamburg. I did not like the word 
" permission" and therefore took an opportunity to 
214 



1797] JOINS HIS WIFE 

speak to him again after dinner, when I told him 
that I did not desire to go to Hamburg unless he 
himself thought it advisable, and requested that in 
that case he would give me an order, specifically, 
for that purpose, as otherwise it might appear that 
I had applied for a conge at the very opening of the 
campaign, which was not the case. He entered 
into my view of the business directly, and promised 
me to have the order made accordingly ; so I am 
in hopes that affair will be settled to my mind. 

April 13 th. To-day the General set off for 
Coblentz. I walked all the forenoon about 
Cologne, and entered divers churches ; saw a 
procession of priests carrying the host. To a de- 
vout Catholic it must appear very striking, but to 
me, who am not a Catholic, it was no great things ; 
however, I am glad I have seen it, for one must see 
everything.* 

April 14th, 15th, 16th. Yesterday I entered a 
church alone, for I visit all the churches ; there 
happened to be no one in the place but myself, 
and as I was gazing about, I perceived the corner 
of a green silk curtain behind a thick iron lattice 
lifted up, and some one behind it. I drew near, 
in order to discover who it might be, and it proved 
to be a nun, young I am sure, and I believe hand- 
some, for I saw only her mouth and chin, but a 
more beautiful mouth I never saw. We continued 

* See footnote to entries of March 1, 1798, on Tone's attitude 
to religion. 

215 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

gazing on one another in this manner for five 
minutes, when a villainous overgrown friar, enter- 
ing to say his mass, put her to the rout. Poor soul, 
I pitied her from the very bottom of my heart, 
and laying aside all grosser considerations, should 
have rejoiced to have battered down the gates of 
the convent, and rescued her from her prison. 
These convents are most infernal institutions, but, 
at the peace, I trust the Republic will settle that 
business here, where, by the by, the people are 
dreadfully superstitious. 

April 20th. Set out from Cologne, at five in the 
morning, " by most of the clocks" on my way to 
join my dearest love. 

April 21st. Passed Guelders, the capital of the 
Duchy of that name, in a broken slumber. I can 
assure all those whom it may concern, that a Ger- 
man post-wagon is not the most eligible contriv- 
ance for sleeping in. I am at this moment ereinte* 
as the French say. Breakfasted at Cleves, and made 
my toilet to refresh me. Shaved by a surgeon for 
threepence, for in Germany the ancient fraternity 
between the barbers and surgeons still subsists. 
Thought of Partridge's lamentation on their 
separation. Set off again in my wagon at one. At 
four entered the territory of the Batavian Republic, j* 



* " Done up ; back-broken." 

t The Netherlands were so called from 1795 to 1806 — from 
their conquest by the French to the crowning of Louis Buona- 
parte as King of Holland. 

2l6 



1797] TRAVELLER'S COMMENT 

At six reached Nimeguen, which is my first halt. 
Secured my place in the Utrecht diligence for to- 
morrow morning. Walked about the town for an 
hour. I am enchanted with it. I never saw any- 
thing so neat and well kept, and a young German, 
who is my fellow-traveller, assures me that, as we 
proceed, I shall find the cleanliness and exactitude 
increase. Passed by two or three corps de garde ; 
the Dutch troops very handsome, fine fellows, and 
extremely well kept. 

April 22nd. Set out from Nimeguen in the 
Utrecht diligence, between seven and eight. The 
features of a Dutch landscape are an immense tract 
of meadows, till the view is lost in the distance, 
intersected either by deep and wide ditches, or 
by fences of wicker, made as neat as basket work ; 
large plantations of willows ; small brick farm- 
houses, covered with red tiles, and in excellent 
order ; here and there a chateau of a Seigneur, 
surrounded by a garden in the true Dutch taste. 
I am not sure that, for a small garden, that taste 
is a bad one ; its neatness, exactitude, and regu- 
larity agree admirably with what one expects to 
find there. It is true it has not the picturesque 
beauty of an English garden, but it has, notwith- 
standing, its own merits, and, in short, I like it 
well enough in miniature. In a Dutch garden all is 
straight lines, and right angles ; in an English all 
is sinuosity. The Dutch garden is that of a mathe- 
matician, the English that of a poet. No question 
217 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

the English taste is far superior, but all I contend 
for is, that the Dutch is not without its beauties, 
and by no means merits the ^discriminating 
ridicule which is attempted to be thrown upon 
it. At eight, set off in the trakschuyt, a villain- 
ous barge, which is to the grand canal packet 
boat what a German post-wagon is to a neat, 
well-hung English chariot. The grand cabin, 
which is very small, being hired, I was stowed 
away amongst the common lumber. We were 
about thirty passengers, one half Jews, every man 
with his pipe in mouth. I was suffocated ! I 
thought my entry into the boat would have been 
solemnized by a battle. Having nothing but 
French money, when I came to pay for my passage 
the skipper refused my coin, which threw me into 
unspeakable confusion. A young Jew, seeing my 
difficulty, offered to change me a piece of five 
livres into Dutch money. I thanked him, and 
accepted his offer. (It is to be observed that at par 
the Dutch sol is exactly double the French, conse- 
quently 100 French sous should procure 50 Dutch.) 
But my Jew knew the course of exchange too well 
for that traffic, and, taking my piece of ioo sous, 
gravely handed me 38 sous cTHollande, by which 
I should have lost exactly 24 sous. I was at first 
rather surprised at his impudence, but, recollecting 
myself immediately, I looked him mildly in the 
face, and, with great gravity, required him in- 
stantly to refund. Jew as he was, this threw him 
218 



i 7 97] A PEACEFUL ENDING 

out of his play, and he immediately offered me 
four sous cTHollande more. I told him that I per- 
ceived he was a Hebrew, and that if he would give 
me one hundred, he should not have the piece ; 
on which he submitted. All this is matter of induce- 
ment. (How the deuce came I to remember so 
much law ?) Immediately after, a man would 
enter the boat perforce, and sat himself down in the 
lap of another, who repelled him with great 
violence, and threw him upon me, just as I was 
endeavouring to compose myself to sleep, of which 
I had great need. I rose immediately, and, seizing 
him by the collar, was proceeding to inflict an 
unheard-of chastisement upon him, to which my 
adventure of the Biscayneer at Trenton would 
have been nothing, when my Jew, who had not 
digested his affront and his loss, thought proper 
to interfere, on which I instantly quit my antag- 
onist and attacked the Hebrew with great violence. 
All the world knows that a Dutch trakschuyt is a 
most inconvenient scene for a battle : for, to go no 
farther, it is, in the first place, impossible to stand 
upright therein, and we were, besides, stowed away 
in bulk, like so many herrings. I could, therefore, 
do little more than swear and call names, which I 
did in broken French, to the great astonishment of 
the Dutchman and terror of the Israelite, whom 
I threatened with I know not what degree of punish- 
ment, which should make him an example for ever 
to all the posterity of Abraham. He demanded 
219 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

pardon with great marks of contrition, which I 
at length accorded him, and the intruder, who was 
the first cause of the dispute, being turned out by 
common consent, the tranquillity of the packet boat 
was restored. My sleep was, however, fled, and 
the smoking continued with great perseverance, 
so that I was devoured with ennui. Opposite me 
was placed a fat Dutchman, with his mistress, I 
believe ; so, to divert myself, and support the 
honour of the Republic, I determined to act the 
Celadon with Mademoiselle, who did not know 
one word of French. That did not, however, 
prevent me from making great way in her good 
graces, and Hans, who perceived he was losing 
ground fast, very wisely determined to renounce 
the contest, to which he found himself unequal, 
pulled his cap down over his eyes and composed 
himself to sleep. I laid my head down, without 
ceremony, in the lap of Mademoiselle, and in five 
minutes was as fast as a church. The lady followed 
the example of her two lovers, and, in this manner, 
at five in the morning we reached Amsterdam. 
I certainly had no right in the world to tease 
poor Hans ; but " Des Chevaliers Frangais tel est 
le caracthe ; " besides that he seemed " not to be 
made of penetrable stuff" I will not venture to say 
as much of Mademoiselle, who, by-the-bye, was 
very pretty. 

April 23 rd. At six reached the Auberge VEtoile in 
the Neuss or Neiss, for I am not sure of the orthog- 
220 



1797] IRISH NEWS 

raphy, and got immediately into bed, of which 
I had great occasion ; for I have not had a good 
night's sleep since I left Cologne. Walked round 
by the quays, which are kept, as everything else in 
Holland, with astonishing neatness. Looked into 
the cellars where the sailors eat. The cleanliness of 
everything in them might tempt the appetite of a 
prince. I thought of George's Quay, and " Ship's 
kettles cooked here" with some little humiliation. 
In point of cleanliness, to speak the truth, we are 
most terribly behind the Dutch. Coffee-house and 
the papers. It is fated that my national pride is 
to be humbled to-day. In the Leyden Gazette I had 
the mortification to read the following observation, 
relative to the peaceful disarming of the province 
of Ulster : " Quelques menacantes que soyent souvent 
les dispositions des Irlandais, rarement on les a vu 
produire de hien terribles effets." The devil of it is, 
that the observation is too well founded. Fitz- 
gibbon was right when he said that " We were a 
people easily roused and easily appeased." 

April 24th. I am more and more pleased with 
Amsterdam ; it is the first city of the world to walk 
in, and, in that respect, I prefer it infinitely either 
to London or Paris. I know nothing in the world 
of architecture, but I have scarcely ever been so 
pleased with anything as with the Stadthuys of 
Amsterdam. There is a set of bells in the dome 
which ornaments the front of the building, that 
execute airs and short pieces of music with an 
221 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

inconceivable precision. In general, I detest the 
sound of a bell, so that when I was at the Temple 
in London, surrounded by five or six churches, I 
often wished myself in Turkey or some peaceable 
Mahometan country, where bells are forbidden. 
But the chimes of the Stadthuys are quite another 
affair. I stood to-day twice, for nearly half an hour, 
and listened to them with the greatest pleasure. 
The hackney coaches are here fixed on sledges, 
and drawn by one horse ; they are convenient 
and ugly, but the horses are superb. 

April 2$th. At the Coffee House : found 
English papers down to the 14th instant ; nothing 
material, but it was a great enjoyment to me. 
Several United Irishmen acquitted, whose names, 
however, are not mentioned. The outcry for 
peace is universal, and petitions pouring in from 
all parts to that effect. There is one from the City 
of Dublin, moved by Grattan, and seconded by 
Ponsonby, at an aggregate meeting of the citizens, 
and carried without a dissenting voice. I see those 
illustrious patriots are at last forced to bolt out 
of the House of Commons, and come amongst 
the people, as John Keogh advised Grattan to do 
long since.* 

* After Bantry Bay things in Ireland had become hotter and 
hotter. Coercion was the order of the day, and Reform was 
held off. " The Government," said Grattan afterwards, " was so 
abominable, their measures were so violent, that no man would 
sanction them. . . . They did not treat the people like rebel 
Christians, but rebel dogs." Having tried to " combat the wild 
222 



1797] THE DUTCH PARLIAMENT 

April 27th. Visited this morning the Convention 
Batave ; it is held in the palace of the ci-devant 
Stadtholder, in the room which was formerly the 
ball-room, the orchestras whereof are converted 
into tribunes, as they are called here and in France, 
and galleries with us. The tribunes are open, and 
no introduction by a member is necessary. The 
room is handsome, but has nothing particularly 
striking ; it is an oblong of, I judge, about 120 
feet by 50, illuminated by six large, and as many 
smaller windows, over the others, of plate glass. 
The members, who are 126 in number, are placed 
round the three sides of the room ; there are five 
rows of benches, raised one above the other, covered 
with green cloth ; every member has before him 
paper, pens, and ink ; the places are all numbered, 
and every fifteen days, at the election of the Presi- 
dent, whose office lasts no longer, the members 
draw for their seats, by which means they avoid 
the denomination of right and left sides, Govern- 
ment and Opposition sides, etc. They receive ten 
florins a day, which is nearly the same pay as in 
France, being about 16s. 8d. sterling, English. I 
observed very few members who were not at least 
thirty-five years of age, and most of them seemed 
to me to be forty and upwards ; they wear no 

spirit of democratic liberty by the regulated spirit of organized 
liberty," he retired in despair with Ponsonby, Curran, and 
others, following the example of Fox and his supporters in 
England. (See Lecky, vol. iv., pages 64 and following.) 
223 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

distinctive mark of any kind. Altogether, I was ex- 
tremely pleased with the decorum and appearance, 
both of the assembly and auditors. The question 
for discussion was, whether the Dutch people 
should or should not be obliged, by the constitution, 
to pay the clergy. I know not what may be, but 
I know very well what ought to be, their decision. 
In France, where there is no religion, there is no 
salary fixed by law for the priests. In America, 
where there is a great deal of religion, there is no 
salary settled by law for the clergy. The Catholic 
priests and the Dissenting ministers of Ireland are 
paid by the voluntary subscriptions of their hearers, 
and after all these examples I have no doubt as 
to the inconvenience of a Church Establishment. 
By-the-bye, there are several of the clergy members 
of the Convention Batave ; I saw to-day one 
Catholic priest and three Protestant ministers sitting 
in their places, and the priest spoke in the debate ; 
I know not what he said, but he made the assembly 
laugh heartily. There are likewise some of the 
noblesse in the Convention, and I find they do not 
vote as a caste ; some of them are patriots, and 
others aristocrats. All this information was given 
me by an honest Dutch patriot, who, seeing me in 
a French uniform, was so good as to do me the 
honours of the assembly, and point out to me the 
most distinguished members, particularly Van 
Kastacle, who is the leader of the democratic 
interest. It seems the principle which divides the 
224 



1797] Smoking the lawyers 

assembly is unity or federalism. The democrats are 
for the first, the aristocrats for the latter, and they 
have succeeded in carrying their point in the plan 
of the intended constitution ; but my Dutch friend 
tells me he hopes that for that very reason the 
constitution will be rejected by the people, in their 
primary assemblies. He likewise informed me that, 
under the intended constitution, the clergy are 
to be excluded from seats in the Legislature ; and 
that he wished to God they would exclude the 
lawyers also, who were intriguers and caballers, 
and from being more in the habit of public speaking, 
and confounding right and wrong, were often able 
to confute and silence honester and abler men than 
themselves. I could not help laughing internally 
at this sketch of my ci-devant brethren of the Dutch 
bar. I find a lawyer is a lawyer all over the world. 
The most scandalously corrupt and unprincipled 
body, politically speaking, that I ever knew, was 
the Irish bar ; I was a black sheep in their body, 
and I bless God that I am well rid of them ; rot 
them ! I hate the very memory of the Four 
Courts, even at this distance. Well, with God's 
blessing, no man will ever see me again in a black 
gown and nonsensical big wig ; so let the profession 
of the law go and be hanged, I am happily done 
with it. To return : I have now seen the Parlia- 
ment of Ireland, the Parliament of England, the 
Congress of the United States of America, the 
Corps Legislatif of France, and the Convention 
(M09) 225 17 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

Batave ; I have likewise seen our shabby Volunteer 
Convention in 1783, and the General Committee 
of the Catholics in 1793 ; so that I have seen, in the 
way of deliberative bodies, as many I believe as 
most men ; and of all those I have mentioned, 
beyond all comparison the most shamelessly prof- 
ligate and abandoned by all sense of virtue, 
principle, or even common decency, was the legis- 
lature of my own unfortunate country ; the 
scoundrels, I lose my temper every time I think of 
them. Returned to my auberge, somewhat afflicted 
with the blue devils ; remembered one of Voltaire's 
precepts in such cases. " Ou bien buvez ; cest un 
parti fort sage ; " determined to put it in practice. 
Got off my boots and coat, got into my wrapper 
and slippers, and determined to enjoy myself. 
I do not see why I should come to the Hague 
without tasting some Holland gin. " The liquor, 
when alive, whose very smell I did detest and loathe." 
Called for gin, water, and sugar, " on which the 
waiter disappeared, and returned instantly with the 
noggin" Performed the part of Lord B. with 
infinite address ; drank " to the health of my 
dearest love ; " " our friends in Ireland ; ** " the 
French Republic, with three times three ; " "a 
speedy Republic to Ireland, with loud and universal 
acclamations ; " " General Hoche, and the army of 
Sambre et Meuse" The evening concluded with the 
utmost festivity. 
April 2Uh. As I am about to leave the Hague 
226 



1797] IN CHEERFUL MOOD 

to-morrow, bought the Traveller's Guide, in order 
to amuse myself in the boat by reading what I ought 
to have seen whilst I was there. I do not much 
see the good sense of my purchase, but I perceive 
I am of that class, respectable at least for its numbers, 
who are celebrated for their facility in parting with 
their money, of which, by the bye, it may be sup- 
posed I am not just now afflicted with a prodigious 
quantity. After dinner a concert, as yesterday, but 
the band was differently composed : " On ny 
voyait ni tetons ni beaux yeux." In plain English, 
the performers were men, except one woman, 
who sung, agreeably, two or three duos, the other 
part being performed by a little bossu, about three 
feet high, but who was penetrated to the very soul 
by his own music. I was exceedingly amused by 
his style of singing and acting ; for he acted also, 
and, at the end of the concert, gave him a trifle for 
himself. I could not help thinking what a choice 
morceau Sterne would have made out of one of these 
concerts and this poor little bossu, who seemed a 
sort of enthusiast in his art. These ambulant 
musicians are nothing, if you think of the opera ; 
but if you think of the ballad singers of other 
countries, they are highly respectable, and, in fact, 
I remarked two or three among them whom I 
would have been very glad to equal on their 
instruments. After dinner strolled out about the 
Hague : " People may say this and that of being in 
Newgate, but, for my part, I find Holland as pleasant 
227 



A QUIET INTERVAL [1797 

a place as ever I was in in my life." It is delicious. 
I am tempted, as I walk about the Hague, to cry 
out, " Thou almost persuadest me to be a Dutchman" 

May 1st. Arrived at Lemmer at eight in the 
morning, and set off instantly in the trakschuyt for 
Strobosch ; a delightful day and beautiful breeze 
all the way ; immense quantities of game all along 
the canal. Planned a voyage, to be executed, God 
knows when, by my wife, Russell, and myself; 
to hire a trakschuyt for a month certain, to go where 
we liked, and stop when we liked, to live aboard 
our boat, to bring guns, fishing tackle, etc., and in 
this manner make a tour through a great part of 
Holland. It would be delicious ; "a very pretty 
journey indeed ', and besides, where is the money ? " O 
Lord ! O Lord ! 

May 2nd. Arrived at Groninguen at twelve 
o'clock ; the town extremely neat, like all the 
Dutch towns, but not as handsome as most of 
those I have seen ; put up at the Nieuwe Minister. 

May yd to 6th. Tormented with the most 
terrible apprehensions on account of the absence 
of my dearest love, about whom I hear nothing ; 
walked out every day to the canal, two or three 
times a day, to meet the boats coming from 
Nieuschans, where she will arrive. No love ! no 
love ! I never was so unhappy in all my life. 

May qth. At last, this day, in the evening, as I 
was taking my usual walk along the canal, I had 
the unspeakable satisfaction to see my dearest love 
228 



i 7 97] A LOVING REUNION 

and our little babies, my sister and her husband, 
all arrive safe and well ; it is impossible to describe 
the pleasure I felt. (Here is an end of my journals 
now, for some time at least.) Since I came to 
France, which is now above fourteen months, 
I have continued them pretty regularly for the 
amusement of my dearest love. As we are now 
together once more they become unnecessary ; we 
must wait for another separation. 



229 



XVI 

THE DUTCH SCHEME OF INVASION 

Written aboard the " Vryheid" of '74 guns, commanded 
by Admiral De Winter, at the Texel, July 10, 
1797. 

It is a long time since I have made a memoran- 
dum, notwithstanding I have been fully employed ; 
but the fact is, I have had too much business. All 
I can now do is to make an imperfect abstract of 
what has passed, that is most material, in the last 
month. 

June 12th. Quartier-General at Friedberg. This 
evening the General called me into the garden 
and told me he had some good news for me. He 
then asked, " Did I know one Lewines * I * * I 
answered I did, perfectly well, and had a high 
opinion of his talents and patriotism. ' Well/' 
said he, "he is at Neuwied, waiting to see you ; 

* Edward John Lewins (1756-1828), an attorney, had been 
sent in April to Hamburg to reopen negotiations begun in 
1796 by Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Arthur O'Connor. Later 
he became Inspector of Studies at the University of Paris ; 
where he died, and was buried with honour, in 1828. 

230 



1797] HOCHE AGAIN 

you must set off to-morrow morning : when you 
join him, you must go together to Treves, and wait 
for further orders." The next morning I set off, 
and, on the 14th, in the evening, reached — 

June 14th, Neuwied ; where I found Lewines 
waiting for me. I cannot express the unspeakable 
satisfaction I felt at seeing him. I cannot pretend 
to detail his conversation, which occupied us fully 
during our stay at Neuwied, and our journey to — 

June ijth, Treves ; where we arrived on the 17th. 
His instructions are to apply to France, Holland, 
and Spain. Lewines , instructions are to demand of 
Spain .£500,000 sterling and 30,000 stand of arms. 
At Treves, on the 19th, Dalton, the General's aide- 
de-camp, came express with orders for us to return 
to — 

June 21st, Coblentz ; where we arrived on the 
2 1 st, and met General Hoche. He told us that, in 
consequence of the arrival of Lewines, he had sent 
off Simon, one of his Adjutant-Generals, who was 
of our late expedition, in order to press the Execu- 
tive Directory and Minister of the Marine. He 
showed Lewines Simon's letter, which contained 
the assurance of the Directory " that they would 
make no peace with England wherein the interests 
of Ireland should not be fully discussed agreeably 
to the wishes of the people of that country." Tins 
is a very strong declaration, and has most probably 
been produced by a demand made by Lewines 
in his memorial, " that the French Government 
231 



THE DUTCH SCHEME OF INVASION [1797 

should make it an indispensable condition of peace, 
that all the British troops be withdrawn from 
Ireland, and the people left at full liberty to declare 
whether they wished to continue the connection 
with England or not." General Hoche then told 
us not to be discouraged by the arrival of a British 
negotiator, for that the Directory were determined 
to make no peace but on conditions which would 
put it out of the power of England longer to arro- 
gate to herself the commerce of the world, and 
dictate her laws to all the maritime powers. He 
added, that preparations were making also in 
Holland for an expedition, the particulars of which 
he would communicate to us in two or three days, 
and, in the meantime, he desired us to attend him 
to — 

June 24th, Cologne ; for which place we set off, 
and arrived the 24th. 

June 2$th. At nine o'clock at night the General 
sent us a letter from General Daendels,*Commander- 
in-chief of the army of the Batavian Republic. In 
consequence of this I waited on the General, whom 
I found in his bed in the Cour Imperiale, and re- 
ceived his orders to set off with Lewines without 
loss of time, and attend him at — 

June 27th, The Hague. 

June 2%th. This morning, at ten, Lewines and 

* Hermann Willem Daendels (1762-1818) fought in 1793 
under Dumouriez. He became Governor-General of Batavia 
under Louis Buonaparte. 

232 



1797] REMOVING OBSTACLES 

I went with General Hoche to the Committee for 
Foreign Affairs, which we found sitting. General 
Hoche began by stating extremely well the history 
of our affairs, since he had interested himself in 
them ; he pressed, in the strongest manner that 
we could wish, the advantages to be reaped from 
the emancipation of Ireland, the almost certainty 
of success if the attempt were once made, and the 
necessity of attempting it, if at all, immediately. 
It was Citizen Hahn who replied to him. He said 
he was heartily glad to find the measure sanctioned 
by so high an opinion as that of General Hoche ; 
that originally the object of the Dutch Government 
was to have invaded England, in order to have 
operated a diversion in favour of the French army, 
which it was hoped would have been in Ireland ; 
that circumstances being totally changed in that 
regard, they had yielded to the wishes of the French 
Government, and resolved to go into Ireland ; that, 
for this purpose, they had made the greatest exer- 
tions, and had now at the Texel an armament of 
16 sail of the line, to frigates, 15,000 troops in the 
best condition, 80 pieces of artillery, and pay for 
the whole for three months ; but that a difficulty 
had been raised within a few days, in consequence 
of a requisition of the Minister of Marine, Truguet, 
who wished to have 5,000 French troops, instead 
of so many Dutch, to be disembarked in conse- 
quence. General Hoche immediately replied, that, 
such being the case, he would take on himself to 
233 



THE DUTCH SCHEME OF INVASION [1797 

withdraw the demand of the Minister of Marine, 
and satisfy the Directory as to the justice of their 
observations ; and that he hoped, all difficulty on 
that head being removed, they would press the 
embarkation without a moment's delay. It was 
easy to see the most lively satisfaction on all their 
faces at this declaration of General Hoche, which 
certainly does him the greatest honour. General 
Daendels, especially, was beyond measure delighted. 
They told us then that they hoped all would be 
ready in a fortnight, and Hahn observed, at the 
same time, that, as there was an English squadron 
which appeared almost every day at the mouth of 
the Texel, it was very much to be desired that the 
Brest fleet should, if possible, put to sea, in order 
to draw off at least a part of the British fleet, 
because, from the position of the Texel, the Dutch 
fleet was liable to be attacked in detail in sailing 
out of the port ; and even if they beat the enemy, 
it would not be possible to proceed, as they must 
return to refit. A member of the Committee — I 
believe it was Van Leyden — then asked us, suppos- 
ing everything succeeded to our wish, what was 
the definite object of the Irish people ? To which 
we replied categorically, that it was to throw off 
the yoke of England, break for ever the connection 
now existing with that country, and constitute 
ourselves a free and independent people. They all 
expressed their satisfaction at this reply, and Van 
Leyden observed that he had travelled through 
234 



1797] TONE COMMITTED TO THE INVASION 

Ireland, and to judge from the luxury of the rich, 
and extreme misery of the poor, no country in 
Europe had so crying a necessity for a revolution. 
To which Lewines and I replied, as is most religi- 
ously the truth, that one great motive of our 
conduct in this business was the conviction of the 
wretched state of our peasantry, and the determina- 
tion, if possible, to amend it. The political object 
of our visit being now nearly ascertained, Hahn, 
in the name of the Committee, observed that he 
hoped either Lewines or I would be of the expedi- 
tion, as our presence with the General would be 
indispensable. To which Hoche replied " that I 
was ready to go," and he made the offer, on my 
part, in a manner peculiarly agreeable to my 
feelings. It was then fixed that I should set off 
for the army of Sambre et Meuse for my trunk, and 
especially for my papers, and that Lewines should 
remain at the Hague, at the orders of the Com- 
mittee, until my return, which might be seven or 
eight days. The meeting then broke up. We 
could not possibly desire to find greater attention 
to us, personally, or, which was far more important, 
greater zeal and anxiety to forward this expedition, 
in which the Dutch Government has thrown itself 
" a corps perdu." They venture no less than the 
whole of their army and navy. As Hoche expressed 
it, " they are like a man stripped to his breeches, 
who has one shilling left, which he throws in the 
lottery, in the hope of being enabled to buy a coat." 
235 



THE DUTCH SCHEME OF INVASION [1797 

July i st. In the Gazette of that day there was 
a proclamation of Buonaparte's, addressed to the 
Government of Genoa, which I thought most 
grossly improper and indecent, as touching on the 
indispensable rights of the people. I read the most 
obnoxious passages to Hoche, and observed, that 
if Buonaparte commanded in Ireland, and were to 
publish there so indiscreet a proclamation, it would 
have a most ruinous effect ; that in Italy such 
dictation might pass, but never in Ireland, where we 
understood our rights too well to submit to it. 
Hoche answered me, " I understand you, but you 
may be at ease in that respect ; Buonaparte has 
been my scholar, but he shall never be my master/ ' 
He then launched out into a very severe critique 
on Buonaparte's conduct, which certainly has 
latterly been terribly indiscreet, to say no worse 
of it, and observed that, as to his victories, it was 
easy to gain victories with such troops as he com- 
manded, especially when the General made no 
difficulty to sacrifice the lives of his soldiers, and 
that these victories had cost the Republic 200,000 
men. A great deal of what Hoche said was very 
true, but I could see at the bottom of it a very great 
jealousy of Buonaparte. I am also sorry to see 
the latter losing so fast that spirit of moderation 
which did him as much honour at first as his 
victories. 

July 8th. Arrived early in the morning at the 
Texel. 

236 



1797] THE EVIL WIND AGAIN 

July i$th. The human mind, or at least my mind, 
is a singular machine. I am here in a situation 
extremely interesting, and on the result of which 
everything most dear to me as a man and a citizen 
depends, and yet I find myself in a state of in- 
difference, or rather apathy, which I cannot myself 
comprehend. My sole amusement is reading an 
odd volume of Voltaire's, which I found by chance ; 
and, for our expedition, I declare I think no more of 
it than if it were destined for Japan, which 
indifference, on my part, as I have already said, 
I cannot comprehend, but so it is. Yesterday I 
wrote to my wife, enclosing a bill which Admiral 
De Winter accepted for 250 florins, " moyennant" 
the like sum paid into his hands ; also to General 
Hoche, to Mr. Shee, to my sister, and to Lewines. 
I have now finished all my business, and to- 
morrow, I understand, we put to sea if the wind 
permits. It is strange, but I feel as if I were to 
set out in the trakschuyt from the Hague, to go 
to Amsterdam. 

July 16th. The Admiral summoned this morning 
all the Admirals and Captains of the fleet, and gave 
them their last instructions, which were, that the 
frigates of forty-four guns should fall into the line ; 
that they should fight to the last extremity, even 
to sinking of their vessels, in which case they were 
to take to their boats ; that if any Captain were to 
attempt to break the line and hang back the others 
should immediately fire on him. This is resolute 
237 



THE DUTCH SCHEME OF INVASION [1797 

of De Winter, and I have every reason to think his 
fleet will second him. He has in the meantime sent 
off a courier to the Government to announce all 
this, and, if the wind springs up in our favour, we 
will set off instantly without waiting for the 
answer. 

July 18th. The wind is as foul as possible this 
morning ; it cannot be worse. Hell ! Hell ! Hell ! 
Allah ! Allah ! Allah ! I am in a most devouring 
rage ! Well, what can't be cured must be endured, 
as our ancestors have wisely remarked. It is most 
terrible to be locked up by the wind as we are now. 

July 19th. Wind foul still. Horrible! Horrible! 
Admiral De Winter and I endeavour to pass away 
the time playing the flute, which he does very well ; 
we have some good duets, and that is some relief. 
It is, however, impossible to conceive anything 
more irksome than waiting, as we now are, on the 
wind ; what is still worse, the same wind which 
locks us up here is exactly favourable for the arrival 
of reinforcements to Duncan, if Lord Spencer means 
to send him any. Naval expeditions are terrible 
for their uncertainty. 

July 20th. This evening I had the pleasure to 
count nineteen sail of British vessels, which passed 
the mouth of the Texel under an easy sail. The 
General assures me, however, that there are not 
above twelve sail of the line among them, according 
to the comparison of the best accounts which have 
been received. Wind foul, as usual. 
238 



1797] LOST OPPORTUNITIES 

July 21st, 22nd, 23rd. I pass my time here in an 
absolute torpor. When I was at Brest I was bad 
enough, but at least we had some conversation. 
But here — well, etc. The wind is, to-day, at 
N.W., which is not quite so execrable as yesterday 
and the day before. With a N.N.E. wind the 
Admiral says we might get out ; ergo, we want 
yet six points of the compass. Damn it to all 
eternity for me. Was there ever anything so 
terrible ? Wrote to my wife on the 21st instant. 

July 29th. This morning the wind is fair, but so 
little of it that we cannot stir. 

July 20th, 31st. Blank. 

August 1st, 2nd. Everything goes on here from 
bad to worse, and I am tormented and unhappy 
more than I can express, so that I hate even to make 
these memorandums. Well, it cannot be helped. 
Wind still S.W. Damn it ! damn it ! damn it ! 
I am, to-day, twenty-five days aboard, and at a 
time when twenty-five hours are of importance. 
There seems to be a fate in this business. Five 
weeks, I believe six weeks, the English fleet was 
paralysed by the mutinies at Portsmouth, Plymouth, 
and the Nore. The sea was open, and nothing to 
prevent both the Dutch and French fleets to put 
to sea. Well, nothing was ready ; that precious 
opportunity, which we can never expect to return, 
was lost ; and now that at last we are ready here, 
the wind is against us, the mutiny is quelled, and 
we are sure to be attacked by a superior force. At 
239 



THE DUTCH SCHEME OF INVASION [1797 

Brest it is, I fancy, still worse. Had we been in 
Ireland at the moment of the insurrection at the 
Nore, we should, beyond a doubt, have had at 
least that fleet, and God only knows the influence 
which such an event might have had on the whole 
British navy. The destiny of Europe might have 
been changed for ever ; but, as I have already said, 
that great occasion is lost, and we must now do as 
well as we can. " Le vin est tire, ilfaut le boire." 

August 3rd, \th. Wind foul. Proposed to-day 
to the Admiral to try an experiment in firing shells 
from the lower-deck guns. He said he thought 
it would not answer, but that he would try not- 
withstanding. Nine at night, tried the shell with a 
thirty-six pounder, and found it answer famously. 

August $th. Wind still foul, viz., W.S.W. 

August 6th, 7th, 8th. Wind foul. Last night, 
when the General and I were walking alone on the 
quarter-deck and cursing the wind, he began to 
mention his apprehensions on the score of our 
provisions rurining short, as well as the danger of 
attempting the passage north about so late in the 
season, and he began to moot again the point about 
Yarmouth. I said, that if unfortunately we were 
detained so far in the season as to render the Irish 
expedition utterly impracticable, it was undoubtedly 
desirable to do something in England, as well for the 
glory of the Dutch arms as that all the expense 
hitherto incurred in the affair might not be lost. 
That in that case my idea was to run over to the 
240 



1797] ALTERNATIVE PLANS 

English coast and debark the army, not at Yar- 
mouth, but at Harwich, or nearer London if 
possible ; to carry nothing with us but bread for 
six days and ammunition ; to make a desperate 
plunge, by forced marches, for the capital, where 
I did not consider it impossible to arrive before the 
enemy could be in sufficient force to oppose us, 
supposing the eastern coast to be as unfurnished 
of troops as Lowry and Tennant had represented. 
That if we were once there, we might defy all the 
force of England ; for, if they were assembled to 
the number of 100,000 in Hyde Park, we could at 
all times make conditions by threatening, in case 
they drove us to extremity, to set fire to the city 
at the four corners and defend ourselves afterwards 
to the last man ; that I had no doubt but with such 
a pledge in our hands we might make our own 
terms. I mentioned likewise, as a subordinate 
circumstance, that if we once reached London we 
should to a certainty find a strong reinforcement, 
inasmuch as a large portion of the mob, and these 
very desperate fellows, consisted of Irishmen to the 
amount of many thousands, who I was sure would 
desire nothing more than to have their will of the 
English. All these arguments seemed, however, 
to make no great impression on Daendels, who still 
recurred to his Yarmouth scheme. He seems to me 
to expect some co-operation there, on what 
grounds I know not ; but I fancy he will find 

himself egregiously deceived. If anything can be 
(4,409) 24I j 8 



THE DUTCH SCHEME OF INVASION [1797 

done in England it must be, in my mind, by a " coup 
de main. 

August 13th. The wind is as foul as ever, viz., 
S.W., in or near which point it has now continued 
thirty-six days that I am aboard, viz., since the 
8th of July last. (At night.) The General and I have 
been poring over the map of England, and he has 
been mooting a plan which, in my mind, is flat 
nonsense — viz., to land at or near Lynn, in Lincoln- 
shire, with his 14,000 men, where he thinks he could 
maintain himself until the fleet could return and 
bring him a reinforcement of as many more, and 
then march upon London and stand a battle. 

August iSth. This morning we have had the 
same scene repeated which has happened to us once 
or twice already. At four or five in the morning 
the wind came round to the east ; the signal was 
given to prepare to get under way, the capstan was 
manned, one anchor heaved, and the other hove 
short to be ready for the tide ; the Admiral and 
General prepared their dispatches, and I wrote to 
my wife. At nine, at length the wind slackened, 
and at ten came round to the old point, S.W., 
where it stuck ; so there was an end of the business. 
I have been so often and so long disappointed that 
I am now used to it ; I therefore bore this very 
quietly. To console me, I received a letter from 
my wife, which gave me unspeakable satisfaction. 
Thank God she is well, and my poor little babies. 
May God Almighty bless them all ! 
242 



1797] YET ANOTHER PLAN 

August 21st. Breakfasted with the General. He 
had prepared a memorial, which he showed me, 
for a new arrangement, which is shortly this : 
To sail out and fight Admiral Duncan. If the issue 
of the battle be favourable, to pass over immediately 
15,000 men, or as many more as we can send, in 
everything that will swim, to Scotland ; to seize, 
in the first instance, on Edinburgh, and march right 
on Glasgow, taking every possible means to alarm 
the enemy with the idea that we meant to penetrate 
by the North of England, which is to be done by 
detaching flying parties, making requisitions, etc., 
on that side ; to maintain ourselves meantime 
behind the canal which joins the Firth of Forth to 
the Clyde, having our right at Dumbarton and 
our left at Falkirk, as well as I can remember, for I 
have not at present either the map or the memorial 
before me ; to collect all the vessels in the Clyde, 
and pass over the army to the North of Ireland ; 
to send round, whilst these military operations were 
going on by land, the frigates and such transports, 
as few as possible, as might be necessary to carry 
over the artillery, stores, etc. Finally, that the 
English would probably be alarmed by all this for 
their own country, and perhaps recall a part of their 
troops from Ireland, which would very much 
facilitate the success of the enterprise. 

September 1st. A new system, rendered indis- 
pensable by the course of events, has been men- 
tioned to me to-day by the General, which will 
243 



THE DUTCH SCHEME OF INVASION [1797 

probably oblige me to make a course to the head- 
quarters of the army of Sambre et Meuse, and from 
thence to Paris. 

September 2nd, yd. This day the General gave 
me my instructions to set off to join General Hoche 
at Wetzlar, and give him a copy of the memorial 
containing the plan already mentioned. 

September 4th to 12th. These eight days I spent 
on the road 'twixt Alkmaer and Wetzlar. 

September 13th. This day I saw General Hoche, 
who is just returned from Frankfort ; he has been 
very ill with a violent cold, and has still a cough, 
which makes me seriously uneasy about him ; 
he does not seem to apprehend anything himself, 
but I should not be surprised, for my part, if in 
three months he were in a rapid consumption. He 
is dreadfully altered, and has a dry, hollow cough, 
that is distressing to the last degree to hear. I im- 
mediately explained to him the cause of my arrival, 
gave him Daendels' plan and the map of Scotland, 
and such further elucidation as I was able in con- 
versation. He then told me that he would take it 
into his most serious consideration, and let me know 
the result in three or four days ; in the meantime, 
I am to attend to his orders. 

September 15th, 16th, ijth. The General's health 
is in a most alarming state, and nobody here seems 
to suspect it — at least, to the extent that I do. 

September iSth, igth. My fears with regard to 
Hoche were but too well founded. He died this 
244 



1797] TONE IN PARIS 

morning at four o'clock. His lungs seemed to me 
quite gone. This most unfortunate event has so 
confounded, and distressed me, that I know not 
what to think nor what will be the consequences. 
Wrote to my wife and to General Daendels in- 
stantly. Yesterday Simon, by the General's orders, 
after communicating with me, wrote to the Minister 
for Foreign Affairs, and of the Marine, but I know 
not to what effect. 

September 20th, 21st. The death of General 
Hoche having broken my connection with the 
army of Sambre et Meuse, where I have no longer 
any business, I applied this day (20th) for an order 
to set off for Paris, which I obtained instantly from 
General Lefebvre, who commands in chief per 
interim. Set off at four o'clock, and travelled all 
night ; arrived at twelve on the 21st at Coblentz, 
and at night at Bonn. 

N.B. — November 21st. It is to-day upwards of 
two months since I made a memorandum, which 
is downright scandalous. The peace is at last 
concluded with the Emperor, and England only 
remains.* With the conditions of the peace, strictly 
speaking, I have nothing to do, my great object and 
wish being confined to the prostration of English 
tyranny. Yet it is a great satisfaction to me to see 

* The peace of Campo Formic " And England only re- 
mained " without an ally, as France without an active enemy, 
but the English navy, reorganized after the mutiny at the Nore, 
was still superior even to the combined fleets of Spain, France, 
and Holland. 

245 



THE DUTCH SCHEME OF INVASION [1797 

that they are as favourable as I think any reasonable 
man can desire. The Cisalpine Republic is ac- 
knowledged, and I fancy we have got the Rhine 
for our limit. Venice goes to the Emperor, which 
is bad, if it could be helped, but we cannot get 
everything. General Berthier was the bearer of 
this great news. Firing of cannon, bonfires, illu- 
minations — Paris was that day in great glory. 

It is singular enough that I should have forgotten 
to mention in its place the famous battle fought on 
the nth of October between the English fleet, 
under Admiral Duncan and the Dutch commanded 
by De Winter. It shows the necessity of making 
memorandums on the moment. There never was 
a more complete victory than that gained by the 
English. The fleets were equal in number, but they 
had the advantage in number of guns and weight 
of metal. De Winter fought like a Hon, and de- 
fended himself to the last extremity, but was at 
length forced to strike, as were nine of his fleet out 
of sixteen, whereof it consisted. With him were 
taken the Admirals Reyntzies, who is since dead, 
and Meurer. Bloys lost his right arm, and Story 
is the only one who came off clear ; the two last 
were not taken. I cannot conceive why the Dutch 
Government sent out their fleet at that season, 
without motive or object, as far as I can learn. My 
opinion is, that it is direct treason, and that the fleet 
was sold to Pitt, and so think Barras, Pleville le 
Peley, and even Meyer, the Dutch Ambassador, 
246 



1797] COLLAPSE OF THE DUTCH SCHEME 

whom I have seen once or twice. It was well 
I was not on board the Vryheid. If I had, it would 
have been a pretty piece of business. I fancy I am 
not to be caught at sea by the English ; for this 
is the second escape I have had, and by land I mock 
myself of them. 

November 26th to 29th. This day received my 
arrears for four months, so now I am at my ease 
as to cash — 2,330 livres. 



247 



XVII 
LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE 

December nth and 12th. Called this day, with 
Lewines, on General Desaix,* and gave him Taylor's 
map of Ireland. He tells us to be under no anxiety ; 
that the French Government will never quit the 
grip which they have got of England, till they 
humble her to the dust ; that it is their wish, and 
their interest (that of all France, as well as of Ire- 
land) ; that the Government now had means, and 
powerful ones, particularly money, and they would 
devote them all to this great object ; it might be a 
little sooner or a little later, but that the success of 
the measure was inevitable. Barras has lately, in 
one or two different conversations, gone as far with 
Lewines as Desaix with me. 

December 18th to 21st. General Desaix brought 
Lewines and me this morning and introduced us 
to Buonaparte, at his house in the Rue Chante- 
reine. He lives in the greatest simplicity ; his 

* Louis Ch. A. Desaix de Veygoux (1768-1800), crowned a 
notable career by his campaign in Egypt. He was killed at 
Marengo, where he arrived just in time to turn the scale in 
favour of Buonaparte. 

248 



1797] TONE MEETS BUONAPARTE 

house is small, but neat, and all the furniture and 
ornaments in the most classical taste. He is about 
five feet six inches high, slender, and well made, 
but stoops considerably ; he looks at least ten years 
older than he is, owing to the great fatigues he 
underwent in his immortal campaign of Italy. His 
face is that of a profound thinker, but bears no 
marks of that great enthusiasm and unceasing 
activity by which he has been so much distinguished. 
It is rather, to my mind, the countenance of a 
mathematician than of a General. He has a fine 
eye, and a great firmness about his mouth ; he 
speaks low and hollow. So much for his manner 
and figure. We had not much discourse with him, 
and what little there was, was between him and 
Lewines, to whom, as our Ambassador, I gave the 
pas. We told him that Tennant * was about to de- 
part for Ireland, and was ready to charge himself 
with his orders if he had any to give. He desired us 
to bring him the same evening, and so we took our 
leave. In the evening we returned with Tennant, 
and Lewines had a good deal of conversation with 
him ; that is to say, Lewines insensed him a good deal 
on Irish affairs, of which he appears a good deal 
uninformed : for example, he seems convinced 
that our population is not more than two millions, 
which is nonsense. Buonaparte listened, but said 

* John Tennant, a United Irishman of Belfast, had arrived in 
Holland in August. He later joined the French army and was 
killed in 1 8 13, in battle. 

249 



LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE ti797 

very little. When all this was finished he desired 
that Tennant might put off his departure for a few 
days, and then, turning to me, asked whether I 
was not an Adjutant-General. To which I answered 
that I had the honour to be attached to General 
Hoche in that capacity. He then asked me where 
I had learned to speak French. To which I replied, 
that I had learned the little that I knew since my 
arrival in France, about twenty months ago. He 
then desired us to return the next evening but one, 
at the same hour, and so we parted. As to my 
French, I am ignorant whether it was the purity 
or the barbarism of my diction which drew his 
attention, and as I shall never inquire, it must 
remain as an historical doubt, to be investigated 
by the learned of future ages. 

December 23rd. Called this evening on Buona- 
parte, by appointment, with Tennant and Lewines, 
and saw him for about five minutes. Lewines gave 
him a copy of the memorials I delivered to the 
Government in February, 1796 (nearly two years 
ago), and which, fortunately, have been well 
verified in every material fact, by everything that 
has taken place in Ireland since. He also gave 
him Taylor's map, and showed him half a dozen 
of Hoche's letters, which Buonaparte read over. 
He then desired us to return in two or three days, 
with such documents relating to Ireland as we were 
possessed of, and, in the meantime, that Tennant 
should postpone his departure. We then left him. 
250 



1797-981 THE GREATEST MAN IN EUROPE 

His manner is cold, and he speaks very little ; it is 
not, however, so dry as that of Hoche, but seems 
rather to proceed from languor than anything else. 
He is perfectly civil, however, to us ; but, from 
anything we have yet seen or heard from him, it is 
impossible to augur anything good or bad. We 
have now seen the greatest man in Europe three 
times, and I am astonished to think how little I 
have to record about him. I am sure I wrote ten 
times as much about my first interview with 
Charles De la Croix, but then I was a greenhorn ; 
I am now a little used to see great men, and great 
statesmen, and great generals, and that has, in some 
degree, broke down my admiration. Yet, after all, 
it is a droll thing that I should become acquainted 
with Buonaparte. This time twelve months, I 
arrived in Brest, from my expedition to Bantry 
Bay. Well, the third time, they say, is the charm. 
My next chance, I hope, will be with the Armee 
cTAngleterre — Allons ! Vive la Republique ! I make 
no memorandums now at all, which is grievous ; 
but I have nothing to write. 

January 2nd to 6th. Called on my old friend 
General Clarke, who is at last returned to Paris : 
his close connection with Carnot * has thrown him 
out of employment, and I am heartily sorry for it : 
for I have a very good opinion of him. He is, 
however, very well with Buonaparte, to whom 
he tells me he has spoken of me in the strongest 
* Carnot had, meanwhile, been proscribed. 
251 



LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE [1798 

manner, for which I feel most sincerely obliged. 
Buonaparte, among other things, asked him whom 
he had most confidence in as to Irish affairs, and 
Clarke answered, " In me, by all means ; " I 
thanked Clarke heartily for all this, and, at the same 
time, explained to him the nature of Lewines' 
mission, and my wish to cede him the pas on all 
occasions ; we talked a great deal of Hoche, of our 
Bantry Bay expeditions, and parted the best of 
friends in the world ; I was very glad to see Clarke, 
and it is a great loss and pity he is not employed. 

January 6th to 13 th. Saw Buonaparte this evening 
with Lewines, who delivered him a whole sheaf 
of papers relative to Ireland, including my two 
memorials of 1795, great part of which stands good 
yet. After Lewines had had a good deal of discourse 
with him, I mentioned the affair of McKenna, who 
desires to be employed as Secretary. Buonaparte 
observed that he believed the world thought he 
had fifty secretaries, whereas he had but one ; of 
course there was an end of that business ; however, 
he bid me see what the man was fit for, and let 
him know. I took this opportunity to mention 
the desire all the Refugee United Irishmen now in 
Paris had to bear a part in the expedition, and the 
utility they would be of in case of a landing in 
Ireland. He answered that they would all be 
undoubtedly employed, and desired me to give 
him in, for that purpose, a list of their names. 
Finally, I spoke of myself, telling him that General 
252 



1798] NAPPER TANDY 

Desaix had informed me that I was carried on the 
tableau of the Armee d'Angleterre ; he said " I was." 
I then observed that I did not pretend to be of the 
smallest use to him whilst we were in France, but 
that I hoped to be serviceable to him on the other 
side of the water ; that I did not give myself to 
him at all for a military man, having neither the 
knowledge nor the experience that would justify 
me in charging myself with any function. " Mais 
vous etes brave" said he, interrupting me. I replied 
that, when the occasion presented itself, that would 
appear ; " Eh bien" said he, " cela suffit." We then 
took our leave. 

February ist. The number of Irish refugees is 
considerably increased. We all do very well except 
Napper Tandy, who is not behaving correctly. It 
is sufficient to say that Tandy took on him to sum- 
mon a meeting of the Irish refugees, at which 
Lewines and I were to be arraigned, on I know not 
what charges, by himself and Quigley. Lewines 
refused to attend, but I went, and when I appeared, 
there was no one found to bring forward a charge 
against me, though I called three times to know 
" whether any person had anything to offer." 
He is, I fancy, pestering the Government here with 
applications and memorials, and gives himself out 
for an old officer, and a man of great property in 
Ireland, as I judge from what General Murat said 
to me in speaking of him the other night at Buona- 
parte's. He asked me did I know one Tandy, 
253 



LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE ti798 

" un ancien militaire, nest ce pas ? " I said I did 
know him, but could not say that he was exactly 
" un ancien militaire, as he had never served but in 
the Volunteer corps of Ireland, a body which re- 
sembled pretty much the Garde nationale of France 
at the beginning of the Revolution." " Mais cest 
un tres riche proprietaire." I told him I believed he 
was always in easy circumstances ; and there the 
discourse ended. By this I see how he is showing 
himself off here. He has got lately a coadjutor in 
the famous Thomas Muir,* who is arrived at Paris, 
and has inserted two or three very foolish articles, 
relating to the United Irishmen, in the Paris papers, 
in consequence of which, at a meeting of the 
United Irishmen, now in Paris, with the exception 
of Tandy, it was settled that Lowry, Orr, Lewines, 
and myself should wait upon Muir, and, after 
thanking him for his good intentions, intreat him 
not to introduce our business into any publications 
which he might hereafter think proper to make. 
Accordingly, we waited on him a few days since, 
but of all the vain, obstinate blockheads that ever 
I met, I never saw his equal. So that, after a dis- 
cussion of nearly three hours, we were obliged to 
come away re infecta, except that we gave Mr. Muir 

* Thomas Muir (1765-98), the Scottish Parliamentary re- 
former, arrested for reading at Edinburgh a seditious paper by 
Hamilton Rowan ; he left for France. On his return he was 
taken, tried, and sentenced to fourteen years transportation. 
Rescued from Botany Bay, he arrived, after some extraordinary 
adventures, in France, where he died eight months later. 
254 



1798] THE POPE IS EXILED 

notice, that he had neither license nor authority to 
speak in the name of the People of Ireland, and that 
if we saw any similar productions to those of which 
we complained, we should be obliged to take 
measures that would conduce neither to his ease 
nor respectability ; for that we could not suffer 
the public to be longer abused. On these terms we 
parted very drily on both sides. The fact is, Muir 
and Tandy are puffing one another here for their 
private advantage ; they are supporting themselves 
by endorsing each other's credit, and issuing, if I 
may say so, accommodation bills of reputation. 
This conversation has given the coup de grace 
to Tandy, with his countrymen here, and he 
is now in a manner completely in Coventry. 
He deserves it. These details are hardly worth 
writing, but as there may be question of the 
business hereafter, I thought I might as well put 
them down. 

March ist. An event has taken place of a magni- 
tude scarce if at all inferior in importance to that of 
the French Revolution. The Pope is dethroned 
and in exile.* The circumstances relating to this 

* Pius VI. (period of office, 1775-99) reigned during difficult 
years. With Christendom he faced the new wave of rationalism 
and anti-clericalism. He refused to accept the Constitution 
civile du Clerge', threw in his lot with the allies, and, as Tone 
records, was removed from Rome in '98 ; he died in exile. 
These remarks of Tone show that he had been deeply affected 
by the current extreme development of Gallicanism, which, 
indeed, he can hardly have well understood. Dr. Madden says 
he was not a sceptic (The United Irishmen, vol. i., third series), 

255 



LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE [1798 

great event are such as to satisfy my mind that there 
is a special Providence guiding the affairs of Europe 
at this moment, and turning everything to the great 
end of the emancipation of mankind from the yoke 
of religious and political superstition, under which 
they have so long groaned. Some months ago, 
in the career of his victories, Buonaparte accorded 
a peace, and a generous one, to the Pope ; it was 
signed at Tolentino, and Louis Buonaparte, brother 
to the General, proceeded to Rome as the first 
Ambassador from the Republic. Many people 
thought at the time, and I was of the number, that 
it was unwise to let slip so favourable an oppor- 
tunity to destroy for ever the Papal tyranny ; but 
it should seem the necessity of following up close 
the impression made on Austrian armies, overbore 
all inferior concerns, and, as I have said already, 
peace was made with the Cabinet of Rome. One 
would have thought that so narrow an escape might 
have prevented the Pope from rashly embarking into 
a second contest with the Republic, holding, as he 
did, his very existence dependent on the breath of 
Buonaparte, who might with a single word have 
annihilated him. But Providence, for its own wise 
and great purposes, the happiness of man, and the 

quoting Miss McCracken : " He believed in the truths of 
religion." However, see the entries of August 19, 1792 ; 
October 24, 1792 ; and April 13-16, 1797, with reference to 
Catholic services, bishops, and convents. This (with his 
suicide) is probably a chief reason for his neglect by modern 
Irish Republicanism. 

256 



1798] MURDER OF DUPHOT 

complete establishment of civil and religious liberty, 

seems to have utterly taken away all sense and 

understanding from the Pope and his councils. 

After a fruitless attempt to trepan the French 

ambassador into a fabricated insurrection, they 

procured a tumultuous mob to assemble under the 

windows of his palace, and within the circuit of his 

jurisdiction ; the guards were immediately called 

out and began to fire ; the ambassador rushed out, 

attended by Generals Duphot, Sherlock, and some 

other officers, all dressed in the costume of their 

respective situations, in order, if possible, to restore 

tranquillity, or assert at least the neutrality of the 

enceinte of the ambassador's palace, which is, in all 

nations, privileged ground. They are received 

with a running fire which levels Duphot to the 

ground ; he recovers his feet, though dreadfully 

wounded, and whilst supporting himself on his 

sabre a corporal advances and discharges his piece 

in his bosom. The ambassador and his suite escaped 

the fire, as it were, by a miracle, and regained the 

palace by a back way, leaving the body of Duphot 

at the mercy of his assassins, who covered it with 

wounds, and had even the barbarity to pelt it with 

stones. The unfortunate Duphot had commanded 

the grenadiers of the army of Italy, and was the next 

morning to have been married to the ambassador's 

sister-in-law. That no doubt might remain as to 

who authorized this massacre ; both the captain, 

who commanded the guard, and the corporal who 
(4,409) 257 I9 



LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE [1798 

committed the murder, were rewarded, and the 
latter promoted to the rank of sergeant. But now 
the measure of the folly and wickedness of the Papal 
government was filled even to running over. The 
ambassador instantly quitted Rome with his family, 
announcing these events to the Directory, who gave 
orders to General Berthier to advance with the 
invincible army of Italy on the ancient capital of 
the world. A few days put him in quiet possession 
of Rome, from whence all those concerned in the 
late abominable transaction had fled, the Pope alone 
remaining. On his arrival, the Roman people 
assembled in the Capital, formally deposed the 
Pope and declared themselves free and independent, 
choosing a provisory government under the 
ancient Roman names of Consuls, Praetors, and 
^diles. Two or three days after the Pope left 
Rome, attended by two French aides-de-camp, and 
where he is gone to I do not yet know. Thus has 
terminated the temporal reign of the Popes after 
an existence of above 1,000 years. What changes 
this great and almost unparalleled event may pro- 
duce on the moral and political system of Europe 
I cannot pretend to conjecture ; but they must be 
numerous and of the last importance. So it is, 
however — the fact is certain, and the Pope, who 
has so often at his will and pleasure disposed of 
crowns and monarchs, is himself deposed without 
effort or resistance. " How art thou fallen from 
Heaven, O Lucifer, Son of the Morning ! " The 
258 



1798] THE IRISH COMMONS IN 1798 

Revelations have many fine things on this subject, 
touching the " Beast and Babylon," etc. " Of the 
Pope's ten horns, God bless us, I've knocked off four 
already." He is now a Prelate in partibus, his means 
are gone, his cardinals, his court, his wealth, all 
disappeared, and nothing remains but his keys. 
It is a sad downfall for the " Servant of the Servants 
of God." But I scorn to insult the old gentleman 
in his misfortunes : Requiescat in pace ! 

March \th. On the 19th of February last, as I see 
in the Courier of the 26th, Lord Moira made a 
motion of great expectation in the Irish House of 
Lords, tending to condemn the vigorous measures 
which have been pursued by the British Govern- 
ment in that country, and to substitute a milder 
system. I was exceedingly disappointed at his 
speech, which was feeble indeed, containing little 
else than declamation, and scarcely a single fact, 
at a time when thousands of crimes of the most 
atrocious nature have been perpetrated for months 
over the whole face of the country. In times like 
ours, half-friends are no friends. His lordship, at 
the conclusion of this milk-and-water harangue, 
comes to his conciliatory plan, which is to check 
the army in their barbarities, and to grant Catholic 
emancipation and parliamentary reform. It is really 
amusing to see the various shifts, and struggles, and 
turns, and twists, and wry faces the noble lord makes 
before he can bring himself to swallow this last 
bitter pill. This kind of conduct will never do well 
259 



LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE [1798 

at any time ; but it is downright folly in times like 
the present. His lordship has mortally offended 
one party and not at all satisfied the other, as will 
always be the case in similar circumstances. But 
if Lord Moira speaks in this half-and-half style, the 
Chancellor,* on the other side, appears not to have 
been so reserved. He openly calls the United 
Irishmen rebels, and says they should be treated as 
such ; he mentions me by name, as having been 
Adjutant-General in Hoche's expedition, and again 
in the armament at the Texel, and says I am at this 
very moment an accredited envoy at Paris from 
that accursed Society. He also makes divers com- 
mentaries on a well-known letter written by me 
to my friend Russell, in 1791, and which, one way 
or other, he has brought regularly before the House, 
at least once a session ever since, and which figures 
in the secret report made by Secretary Pelham j" in 
the last one. From all these facts, and divers others 
which he enumerates, he infers that the design of 
the United Irishmen is to separate Ireland from 
Great Britain, and that consequently all measures 
to destroy that infamous conspiracy are fair and 
lawful ; of which opinion the House of Lords was 
also, Lord Moira's motion being rejected by a 
large majority. I can hardly, I think, be suspected 

*John Fitzgibbon, Earl of Clare (1 749-1 802), the ablest, 
most relentless, and most hated of all the renegade Irishmen of 
his century. 

f Thomas Pelham, Chief Secretary for Ireland, under Lord 
Temple (1783-84) and Lord Camden (1795-98). 
260 



1798] CARELESS CONSPIRATORS 

of partiality to the Chancellor, but I declare I have 
a greater respect for his conduct on this occasion 
than for that of Lord Moira. 

March $th to 20th. It is with the most sincere 
concern and anxiety that I see in the late English 
papers that Arthur O'Connor has been arrested at 
Margate, endeavouring to procure a passage for 
France ; the circumstances mentioned indicate a 
degree of rashness and indiscretion on his part 
which is astonishing. It seems he set off from 
London in company with four others, viz., Quigley 
the priest, who was some time since in Paris, and 
of whom I have no great reason to be an admirer ; 
Binns of the Corresponding Society ; Alley, also 
of the Corresponding Society, and his servant of 
the name of Leary. Quigley called himself at first 
Captain Jones, and afterwards Colonel Morris ; the 
others passed for his servants. Their first attempt 
was at a place called Whitstable, where the vigilance 
of the custom-house officers embarrassed them. 
They then hired a cart, which they loaded with their 
trunks, of which it seems they were sufficiendy 
provided, and crossed the country on foot for 
twenty-five miles to Margate.* It does not appear 

* On February 28th Quigley was executed in due course. 
The spy MacNally had told the Government as early as January 
that O'Connor had left Ireland, and that an invasion was planned 
for April. The French had promised the United Irishmen that 
assistance would arrive in April or early May. The English 
Government knew secretly as early as February-March that 
preparations were being made at Dunkirk, Havre, Honfleur, 
and Calais. 

26l 



LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE [1798 

they made much mystery of their intended desti- 
nation ; but be that as it may, at Margate they were 
arrested by the Bow Street runners, Fugin and 
Rivet, who had followed them a la piste from 
London. It is inconceivable that five men should 
attempt such an enterprise, and with such a quantity 
of luggage ; it is equally incredible that they should 
bring papers with them, of which the newspapers 
say several have been found, and especially one in 
the great-coat pocket of Quigley, purporting to be 
an address from the Executive Directory of England 
to that of France, and desiring the latter to give 
credit to Quigley, as being " the worthy citizen 
whom they had lately seen." These last expressions 
stagger me, or I should not believe it possible any 
man living would leave a paper of such consequence 
in such a careless extraordinary place. 

March 2$th. Received my letters of service from 
the War Office, as Adjutant-General in the Armee 
<T Angleterre. 

March 26th. I see in the English papers of March 
17th, from Irish papers of the 13 th, news of the 
most disastrous and afflicting kind, as well for me 
individually as for the country at large. The 
English Government has arrested the whole Com- 
mittee of United Irishmen for the province of 
Leinster, including almost every man I know and 
esteem in the city of Dublin. Amongst them are 
Emmet, Dr. MacNeven, Sweetman, Bond, Jackson, 
and his son ; warrants are likewise issued for the 
262 



1798] THE ENGLISH GOVERNMENT STRIKES 

arrestation of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, McCormick, 
and Sampson, who have not, however, yet been 
found. It is by far the most terrible blow which 
the cause of liberty in Ireland has yet sustained.* 

March 27th, 2%th, 29th. The last arrestations seem 
to be followed up by others. Government will now 
stop at nothing, f 

April 1st, 2nd. Lewines waited yesterday on 
Merlin, who is President of the Directory for this 
trimestre, and presented him a letter of introduction 
from Talleyrand. Merlin received him with great 
civility and attention. Lewines pressed him, as far 
as he could with propriety, on the necessity of 
sending succours to Ireland the earliest possible 
moment, especially on account of the late arresta- 
tions ; and he took that occasion to impress him 
with a sense of the merit and services of the men 
for whom he interested himself so much on every 
account, public and personal. Merlin replied that, 
as to the time or place of succour, he could tell him 
nothing, it being the secret of the State ; that, as to 
the danger of his friends, he was sincerely sorry for 
the situation of so many brave and virtuous 
patriots ; that, however, though he could not 
enter into the details of the intended expedition, 
he would tell him thus much to comfort him, 
' That France never would grant a peace to England 

* The informer was Reynolds, a brother-in-law of Tone 
himself. 

f Martial Law was proclaimed on March 30th. 
263 



LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE [1798 

on any terms short of the Independence of Ireland. ' ' This 
is grand news. 

April 4th. This day, at three o'clock, having 
previously received my letters of service, order to 
jom,frais de route , etc., I set off for the headquarters 
of the Armee d'Angleterre at Rouen. 

April $th. After travelling all night, arrived at 
twelve next day, and took up my lodgings at the 
Maison Wattel. Met General Kilmaine by accident, 
who invited me to dinner ; where I found General 
Lemoine, and Bessieres, Commandant of the Guides 
of Buonaparte, etc., etc. Comedy in the evening. 

April 6th. The Cathedral is a beautiful relic of 
Gothic architecture. I have seen the inside of 
Westminster Abbey, and Notre Dame, of Paris, 
as well as several others in Germany and elsewhere, 
but I prefer the inside of the Cathedral of Rouen 
to them all. It is a magnificent coup d'ceil. But, 
what is provoking, between the body of the church 
and choir, some pious Archbishop, who had more 
money than taste, has thrown a very spruce colon- 
nade, of pure Corinthian architecture, which totally 
destroys the harmony of the building, and ruins 
what would otherwise produce a most magnificent 
effect. This little specimen of Grecian architecture 
is more truly Gothic than all the rest of the edifice. 

April Sth. Heard part of a sermon, this being 

Easter Sunday. Sad trash ! a long parallel, which 

I thought would never end, between Jesus Christ 

and Joseph, followed by a second, equally edifying, 

264 



1798] TERROR IN IRELAND 

comparing Him with the prophet Jonah, showing 
how the one lay three nights in the tomb, and the 
other three nights in the belly of a great fish, etc. ; 
at all which I profited exceedingly. The church 
was full of women, but I did not see twenty men. 
I wonder how people can listen to such abominable 
nonsense. 

April 26th. I see in the Paris papers to-day 
extracts from English ones, of a late date, by which 
it appears, as I suspected, that the news of an in- 
surrection in Ireland was, as yet, premature ; 
nevertheless, things in that country seem to be 
drawing fast to a close. There is a proclamation 
of Lord Camden, which is tantamount to a de- 
claration of war ; and the system of police, if police 
it can be called, is far more atrocious than it ever 
was in France in the time of the terreur* There is, 
however, no authentic account of any hostilities, 
except at a place called Holy Cross, where the 
people were easily dispersed by the Cashel Fencible 
Cavalry, and a party of the Lowth Militia, with the 
loss of three killed, and about twenty wounded 
and prisoners ; but that is nothing. I see it is the 
policy of Government to employ such Irish troops 
as they can depend upon, to avoid, or at least lessen, 
the odium which would fall, otherwise, on the 
English and Scotch. 

April 2jth. I am sadly off for intelligence here, 

* Tone does not exaggerate. The most terrible military 
excesses were perpetrated in Ireland all this spring. 
265 



LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE [1798 

having nothing but the imperfect extracts in the 
Paris papers. I see to-day, and am very glad to 
see it, that my friend, Sir Lawrence Parsons, has 
resigned the command of the King's County 
rnihtia in consequence of the sanguinary measures 
about to be adopted by the English Government, 
in which he will take no share. His example should 
be imitated by every country gentleman in Ireland ; 
but they have neither the sense nor the virtue to see 
that. Alarming as the state of Ireland really and 
truly is to the English Government, I have no doubt 
on my mind that it is their present policy to exag- 
gerate the danger as much as possible in order to 
terrify the Irish gentry out of their wits, and, under 
cover of this universal panic, to crush the spirit of 
the People, and reduce the country to a state of 
slavery more deplorable than that of any former 
period of our deplorable history. They take a 
chance against nothing. What miserable slaves are 
the gentry of Ireland ! What wonder if the leaders 
of the United Irishmen, finding themselves not 
only deserted, but attacked by those who, for every 
reason, should have been their supporters and fellow- 
labourers, felt themselves no longer called upon to 
observe any measures with men only distinguished 
by the superior virulence of their persecuting spirit ? 
If such men, in the issue, lose their property, they 
are themselves alone to blame, by deserting the first 
and most sacred of duties — the duty to their 
country. They have incurred a wilful forfeiture 
266 



1798] RIGHTEOUS ANGER 

by disdaining to occupy the station they might 
have held among the People, and which the People 
would have been glad to see them fill ; they left 
a vacancy to be seized by those who had more 
courage, more sense, and more honesty ; and not 
only so, but by this base and interested desertion 
they furnished their enemies with every argument of 
justice, policy, and interest, to enforce the system of 
confiscation. Who can forgive the man that forces 
him to confess that he is a voluntary slave, and that 
he has sold for money everything that should be 
most precious to an honourable heart ? that he has 
trafficked in the liberties of his children and his own, 
and that he is hired and paid to commit a daily 
parricide on his country ? Yet these are charges 
which not a man of that infamous caste can deny 
to himself before the sacred tribunal of his own 
conscience. At least the United Irishmen, as I have 
already said, have a grand, a sublime object in view. 
Their enemies have not as yet ventured, in the long 
catalogue of their accusations, to insert the charge 
of interested motives. Whilst that is the case they 
may be feared and abhorred, but they can never 
be despised ; and I believe there are few men who 
do not look upon contempt as the most insufferable 
of all human evils. Can the English faction say 
as much ? In vain do they crowd together, and 
think by their numbers to disguise or lessen their 
infamy. The public sentiment, the secret voice of 
their own corrupt hearts, has already condemned 
267 




LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE [1798 

them. They see their destruction rapidly approach- 
ing, and they have the consciousness that when 
they fall no honest man will pity them. ' They 
shall perish like their own dung ; those who have seen 
them shall say, Where are they ? " 

From April 2jth to May ijth. Having obtained 
leave of absence for two decades, I have spent the 
last twenty days deliciously with my family at 
Paris. During that time we received a letter from 
my brother William, dated from Poonah, the 7th 
of January, 1797, sixteen months ago, at which 
time he was in health and spirits, being second in 
command of the infantry of the Peschwa or chief 
of the Mahratta state, with appointments of 500 
rupees a month, which is about ^750 sterling a 
year. I cannot express the pleasure which this 
account of his success gave us all ; great as has been 
his good fortune it is not superior to his merit. 
Six years ago he went to India a private soldier, 
unknown, unfriended, and unprotected ; he had 
not so much as a letter of introduction ; but talents 
and courage like his were not made to rust in 
obscurity ; he has forced his way to a station of 
rank and eminence, and I have no doubt that his 
views and talents are extended with his elevation. 
The first war in India we shall hear more of him. 

May 19th. I do not know what to think of our 

expedition. It is certain that the whole left wing 

of the army of England is at this moment in full 

march back to the Rhine ; Buonaparte is God 

268 



1798] BUONAPARTE ABANDONS THE IRISH 

knows where, and the clouds seem thickening 
more and more in Germany, where I have no doubt 
Pitt is moving heaven and hell to embroil matters 
and divert the storm which was almost ready to 
fall on his head.* 

May 24th, 2$th. It is certain that Buonaparte is 
at Toulon, and embarked since the 14th ; his 
speech, as I suspected, is not as it was given in the 
last journals. The genuine one I read to-day, and 
there are two sentences in it which puzzle me 
completely. In the first, at the beginning of the 
address, he tells the troops that they form a wing 
of the army of England ; in the second, towards 
the end, he reminds them that they have the glory 
of the French name to sustain in countries and seas 
the most distant. What does that mean ? Is he 
going after all to India ? Will he make a short cut 
to London by way of Calcutta ? I begin foully to 
suspect it.f 

May 26th. I have changed my mind, and written 
this day a letter to General Kilmaine, acquainting 

* Lord Edward Fitzgerald was this day taken in Dublin. The 
Rebellion broke out in Ireland on May 23rd. Lord Edward 
died June 4th. Tone hears of Lord Edward's arrest on June 
9th-i2th ; see these entries. In view of the terrible events 
happening in Ireland these entries of May are bitterly ironic in 
their unawareness. 

t Buonaparte had already decided to abandon Ireland, and 
was on his way to Malta, preliminary to setting out on the 
conquest of Egypt. He considered, long after, in St. Helena, 
that this was one of his great mistakes. " If," he said, " instead 
of the expedition to Egypt I had made that of Ireland . . . 
what would England have been to-day ? " 
269 



LEWINES TAKES OVER. BUONAPARTE [1798 

him with Will's present situation in India, and 
offering to go thither if the Government thinks 
that my services can be useful, requesting secrecy 
and a speedy answer. I know not how this may 
turn out. It is a bold measure. My only difficulty 
is about my family ; but if the Directory accepts 
my offer, I hardly think they will refuse to pay my 
wife one-half of my appointments during my 
absence. If they do that, I will go cheerfully, 
notwithstanding that the age for enterprise is 
almost over with me. My blood is cooling fast. 
" My May of life is falling to the sear, the yellow leaf" 



270 



XVIII 
THE REBELLION : LAST ENTRIES 

May 27th, 2%th. The English having appeared 
in force before Havre, and attempted to throw 
some bombs into the city, Adjutant-General 
Rivaud, Chef de l'Etat-Major, determined to send 
me off at a moment's warning to join General 
Bethencourt, who commands the division. In 
consequence, having received orders and made up 
my kit, I set off post, and ran all night. 

May 29th. I am lodged in the same hotel where 
I put up at my first landing in France. How many 
scenes have I witnessed since ! 

May 30th. This morning at four o'clock there 
was a heavy cannonade to the southward, which 
continued at intervals until ten. The weather is 
hazy, so that we can see nothing distincdy. I 
walked out on the batteries three or four times, but 
could make nothing of it ; I fear, however, the 
worst for our corvettes. 

May 31st. My fears were too true about the 
corvettes. They fell in with a squadron of five 
English frigates, and immediately the captain of 
271 



THE REBELLION [1798 

the Vesuve, of thirty-two guns, took fright and ran 
his ship ashore ; his name is l'Eccolier. He fired 
but two broadsides. His comrade, however, who 
commanded the Confiante, and whose name is 
Pevrieux, fought his ship in another guess manner ; 
he engaged the Diamond within pistol shot for three 
hours, and it was not until the rest of the squadron 
were closing fast around him that he ran his ship 
ashore, where he continued to defend himself for 
two hours ; so that the English could not succeed 
in their attempt to burn her ; but she is dismasted 
and torn to pieces by their shot. This affair is the 
more honourable for him, as the Diamond carries 
twenty-four pounders, and his ship twelve pounders. 
In the meantime there are two corvettes gone, 
though there are some hopes the Vesuve may be 
got off. All this does not promise violently in 
favour of the invasion, and indeed the English 
seem by the papers to have no longer any uneasiness 
on that score. 

June 2nd. Last night walked all round the ram- 
parts, and inspected the state of the works with 
General Bethencourt. Went the rounds with him, 
as far as the battery of La Heve, which is above a 
league from the town, among the rocks, and re- 
turned at one this morning. " How merrily we live 
that soldiers be ! " All this afternoon there has been 
a heavy cannonade to the southward, opposite 
the Pointe de Dives. We conjecture it is the flotilla 
of Muskein, which is endeavouring to return, and 
272 



1798] UNDER FIRE 

having, as we suppose, fallen in with the English, 
has taken shelter under a little fort of four pieces 
of cannon at the point. Be that as it may, the fire 
has continued until an hour after dark. 

June 6th, qt)i, Sth. Yesterday the enemy appeared 
before Havre, and from their manoeuvres we ex- 
pected an attack. In consequence all the batteries 
were manned and the furnaces heated. I was 
stationed in the Batterie Nationale. About three 
o'clock in the afternoon they bore down upon us, 
within two cannon shot ; but after some little 
time, hauled their wind and stood off again ; so 
we were quit for the night. As they passed the 
battery at the Pointe la Heve they threw about half 
a dozen shells, to answer as many shot the battery- 
had fired at them, a toute volee, but neither the one 
nor the other did any damage. I saw three of the 
shells fall in the water, and all the shot. Two of the 
latter passed very near the bombketch, but the dis- 
tance was entirely too great, and I wonder the 
General does not give orders never to fire but at 
a distance to do mischief. If the enemy waste their 
powder foolishly, there is no reason we should 
waste ours. Au reste, it was a fine sight, and I 
should have enjoyed it more, had it not been for 
certain " speculations on futurity and the trans- 
migration of souls," which presented themselves 
to my fancy at times. I defy any man to know 
whether he is brave or not until he is tried, and I 
am very far from boasting of myself on that score ; 

(4,409) 273 2Q 



THE REBELLION [1798 

but the fact is, and I was right glad of it, that when 
I found myself at my battery, and saw the enemy 
bearing right down upon us, and as I thought to 
begin the cannonade, though I cannot say with 
truth, that I was perfectly easy, yet neither did I feel 
at all disconcerted ; and I am satisfied, as far as a 
man in that situation can judge of himself, that I 
should have done my duty well, and without any 
great effort of resolution. The crowd and the 
bustle, the noise, and especially the conviction that 
the eyes of the cannoniers were fixed on the 
chapeau galonne, settled me at once ; it is the eti- 
quette in such cases that the General stands con- 
spicuous on the parapet, whilst the cannoniers are 
covered by the epaulement, which is truly amusing 
for him that commands. 

June 9th to 12th. Yesterday I read in the French 
papers an account of the acquittal of Arthur 
O'Connor at Maidstone, and of his being taken 
instantly into custody again. Undoubtedly Pitt 
means to send him to Ireland, in hopes of finding 
there a more complaisant jury. Quigley, the priest, 
is found guilty ; it seems he has behaved admirably 
well, which I confess was more than I expected ; 
his death redeems him. Alley, Binns, and Leary, 
the servant, are also acquitted and discharged. 
O'Connor appears to have behaved with great 
intrepidity. On being taken into custody, he 
addressed the judges, desiring to be sent to the same 
dungeon with his brother, who, like him, was 
274 



1798] LORD EDWARD FITZGERALD 

acquitted of high treason, and, like him, was 
arrested in the very court. The judge, Buller, 
answered him coldly that their commission expired 
when the sentence was pronounced, and that the 
court could do nothing farther in the business. 
He was instantly committed. My satisfaction at 
this triumph of O'Connor is almost totally de- 
stroyed by a second article in the same paper, 
which mentions that Lord Edward Fitzgerald has 
been arrested in Thomas Street, Dublin, after a 
most desperate resistance, in which himself, the 
magistrate, one Swann, and Captain Ryan, who 
commanded the guard, were severely wounded. I 
cannot describe the effect which this intelligence 
had on me ; it brought on, almost immediately, 
a spasm in my stomach, which confined me all day. 
I knew Fitzgerald but very little, but I honour and 
venerate his character, which he has uniformly 
sustained, and, in this last instance, illustrated. 
What miserable wretches by his side are the gentry 
of Ireland ! I would rather be Fitzgerald, as he is 
now, wounded in his dungeon, than Pitt at the 
head of the British Empire. What a noble fellow ! 
Of the first family in Ireland, with an easy fortune, 
a beautiful wife, and family of lovely children, the 
certainty of a splendid appointment under Govern- 
ment, if he would condescend to support their 
measures, he has devoted himself wholly to the 
emancipation of his country, and sacrificed every- 
thing to it, even to his blood. 
275 



THE REBELLION [1798 

June 13th. I have been running over in my mind 
the list of my friends and of the men whom, 
without being so intimately comiected with them, 
I most esteem. Scarcely do I find one who is not 
or has not been in exile or prison, and in jeopardy 
of his life. To begin with, Russell and Emmet, 
the two dearest of my friends, at this moment in 
prison on a capital charge. MacNeven and 
J. Sweetman, my old fellow-labourers in the 
Catholic cause ; Edward Fitzgerald, Arthur and 
Roger O'Connor, whom, though I know less 
personally, I do not less esteem ; Sampson, Bond, 
Jackson and his son, still in prison ; Robert and 
William Simms, the men in the world to whose 
friendship I am most obliged, but just discharged ; 
Neilson, Haslitt, McCracken the same ; McCor- 
mick, absconded ; Rowan and Dr. Reynolds in 
America ; Lewines, Tennant, Lowry, Hamilton, 
Teeling, Tandy, etc., and others, with whom I have 
little or no acquaintance, but whom I must presume 
to be victims of their patriotism, not to speak of 
my own family in France, Germany, and elsewhere. 
Stokes disgraced on suspicion of virtue. It is a 
gloomy catalogue for a man to cast his eyes over. 
Of all my political connections I see but John 
Keogh who has escaped, and how he has had that 
inconceivable good fortune is to me a miracle. 
— Ten at night. I have been these two hours at the 
batteries, but the enemy keeps at a most prudent 
distance. It is downright wearying to be in con- 
276 



1798] THE IRISH IN PARIS 

tinual expectation of an attack, and I begin to lose 
my patience. 

June 14th, 15 th, 16th. Last night, at the Comedie, 
I had a conversation with General Kilmaine, who 
has been here these two days, which did not much 
encourage me on the present posture of our affairs. 
I asked whether he could tell me the determination 
of the Government with regard to the cadres of 
regiments formed by General Hoche for the last 
expedition, and whether the Irishmen now in Paris 
were to be employed in them ? He said that the 
conduct of many of the Irish in Paris was such as to 
reflect credit neither on themselves nor their 
country. That there was nothing to be heard of 
amongst them but denunciations, and if every 
one of them, separately, spoke truth, all the rest 
were rascals. At the same time there was one thing 
in their favour ; hitherto they had asked nothing 
for themselves, which in some degree saved their 
credit — except one, named O'Finn, who appeared 
in the light of a mere adventurer ; that Tandy had 
also applied for assistance, and that he (Kilmaine), 
believing the poor old man to be in distress, had 
signed a paper to the Minister at War, requesting 
he might be employed. I answered that I was 
heartily sorry for the account he gave me of the 
conduct of our countrymen, which I had some 
reason to believe he had not exaggerated, having 
been denounced myself more than once for no other 
offence, as I believe in my conscience, than the rank 
277 



THE REBELLION [1798 

I held in the French army, which caused heart- 
burnings amongst them ; that the misfortune was 
that they came into France with their ideas mounted 
too high, from having had a certain degree of 
influence among the people at home, and finding 
themselves absolutely without any in France, their 
tempers were soured and their ill-humour vented 
itself in accusations of each other. All this is as 
discouraging as it can well be. I am sworn not 
to despair. It is my motto, but if it were not for 
that I know not what I should do to-day. 

June 17th, 18th. The news I have received this 
morning, partly by the papers and partly by letters 
from my wife and brother, are of the last impor- 
tance. As I suspected, the brave and unfortunate 
Fitzgerald was meditating an attack on the capital, 
which was to have taken place a few days after 
that on which he was arrested. He is since dead 
in prison ; his career is finished gloriously for him- 
self, and whatever be the event, his memory will 
live for ever in the heart of every honest Irishman. 
He was a gallant fellow. For us, who remain as 
yet, and may perhaps soon follow him, the only 
way to lament his death is to endeavour to revenge 
it. The insurrection has formally commenced in 
several counties of Leinster, especially Kildare and 
Wexford ; the details in the French papers are very 
imperfect, but I see there have been several actions. 
At Monastereven, Naas, Clane, and Prosperous, 
the three last immediately in my ancient neighbour- 
278 



1798] BLOODY NEWS 

hood, there have been skirmishes generally, as is 
at first to be expected, to the advantage of the 
army ; at Prosperous the Cork militia were sur- 
prised and defeated. The villains — to bear arms 
against their country ! Killcullen is burnt ; at 
Carlow four hundred Irish, it is said, were killed ; 
at Castledermot fifty ; in return, in county Wex- 
ford, where appears to be their principal force, they 
have defeated a party of six hundred English, killed 
three hundred and the Commander, Colonel 
Walpole, and taken five pieces of cannon. This 
victory, small as it is, will give the people courage, 
and show them that a red coat is no more invincible 
than a grey one. At Rathmines there has been an 
affair of cavalry where the Irish had the worst, and 
two of their leaders named Ledwich and Keogh 
were taken, and I presume immediately executed. 
I much fear that the last is Cornelius, eldest son to 
my friend, J. Keogh, and a gallant lad ; if it be so I 
shall regret him sincerely ; but how many other 
valuable lives must be sacrificed before the fortune 
of Ireland be decided ! Dr. Esmonde and eight 
other gentlemen of my county have been hanged ; 
at Nenagh the English whip the most respectable 
inhabitants till their blood flows into the kennel. 
The atrocious barbarity of their conduct is only to 
be excelled by the folly of it ; never yet was a 
rebellion, as they call it, quelled by such means. 
The eighteen thousand victims sacrificed by Alva 
in the Low Countries in five years and on the 
279 



THE REBELLION [1798 

scaffold did not prevent the establishment of the 
liberty of Holland. From the blood of every one 
of the martyrs of the liberty of Ireland will spring, 
I hope, thousands to revenge their fall. In all this 
confusion of events there is one circumstance which 
looks well. The English Government publish 
latterly no detailed accounts, but say, in general, 
that all goes well, and that a few days will suffice 
to extinguish the rebellion ; at the same time they 
are fortifying the pigeon house in Dublin in order 
to secure a retreat for the Government in case of 
the worst, which does not savour extremely of the 
immediate extinction of the rebellion. These are 
all the details I recollect, and they are of the last 
importance. What will the French Government 
do in the present crisis ? 

June 19th. This evening at five set off for Rouen. 
No news yet of the Toulon expedition — it is incon- 
ceivable ! 

June 20th. To-day is my birthday. I am thirty- 
five years of age ; more than half the career of my 
life is finished, and how little have I yet been able 
to do. Well, it has not been, at least, for want of 
inclination, and, I may add, of efforts ! Called this 
morning on General Grouchy — I find him full of 
ardour for our business ; he has read all the details, 
and talks of going to Paris in two or three days to 
press the Directory upon that subject. His idea 
is to try an embarkation aboard the corvettes and 
privateers of Nantes ; on which, he thinks, at least 
280 



1798] KILMAINE EXPLAINS THE DIFFICULTIES 

3,000 men with 20,000 muskets can be stowed, 
and he speaks as if he meant to apply for the com- 
mand of this little armament. What would I not 
give that he should succeed in the application ! 
I once endeavoured to be of service to General 
Grouchy when I saw him unjustly misrepresented 
after our return from Bantry Bay, and he does not 
seem to have forgotten it ; for nothing could be 
more friendly and affectionate than his reception 
of me to-day. From General Grouchy I went to 
visit the General-in-chief, Kilmaine, and mentioned 
to him that, under the circumstances, especially as 
there was no appearance of any event at Havre, I 
had thought it my duty to return near him to 
receive his orders. He said I did very right, but 
he was sorry at the same time to tell me that he 
was much afraid the Government would do noth- 
ing ; and he read me a letter from the Minister of 
Marine which he had received this very morning, 
mentioning that, in consequence of the great 
superiority of the naval force of the enemy, and 
difficulty of escaping from any of the ports during 
the fine season, the Directory were determined 
to adjourn the measure until a more favourable 
occasion. I lost my temper at this, and told him 
that if the affair was adjourned it was lost. The 
present crisis must be seized, or it would be too 
late ; that I could hardly hope the Irish, unprovided 
as they were of all that was indispensable for carry- 
ing on a war, could long hold out against the 
281 



THE REBELLION [1798 

resources of England, especially if they saw France 
make no effort whatsoever to assist them ; that, 
thus far, they had been devoted to the cause of 
France, for which, if they had not been able to do 
much, at least they had sufficiently suffered ; but 
who could say or expect that this attachment would 
continue if, in the present great crisis, they saw 
themselves abandoned to their own resources ; 
that now was the moment to assist them : in three 
months it might be too late, and the forces then 
sent, if the Irish were overpowered in the meantime, 
find themselves unsupported, and, in their turn, be 
overpowered by the English. General Kilmaine 
answered that he saw all that as well as I did ; but 
what could he do ? He had pressed the Directory 
again and again on the subject, but they were afraid 
to incur the charge of sacrificing a handful of the 
troops of the Republic, and would not try the 
enterprise except on a grand scale. He then showed 
me two different plans he had prepared, the one for 
an embarkment of 17,500 men, the second for about 
9,500, both of which he had sent by his aide-de- 
camp to Paris, and expected his return. I answered 
that I should be heartily glad that either one or the 
other were adopted, but that I saw infinite diffi- 
culties in the way, and had always been of opinion 
that 5,000 men that could be sent were better than 
50,000, that could not. I added that one demi- 
brigade of light infantry, with two or three com- 
panies of light artillery at this moment, might be 
282 



1798] KILMAINE'S PLANS 

better than 20,000 men in six months. He shook 
his head and replied he was morally certain the 
Directory would attempt nothing on so small a 
scale. He then gave me the French papers, and 
after settling to dine with him, we parted. Quigley 
has been executed, and died like a hero ! If ever 
I reach Ireland, and that we establish our liberty, 
I will be the first to propose a monument to his 
memory ; his conduct, at the hour of his death, 
clears everything. " Nothing in his life became him 
like the leaving of it" Poor Pamela — she is in 
London, which she has been ordered to quit in 
three days. The night of her husband's arrestation 
she was taken in labour, and — will it be believed 
hereafter ? — not one physician could be found in 
Dublin hardy enough to deliver her. The villains ! 
the pusillanimous and barbarous scoundrels ! It was 
a lady, who was not even of her acquaintance, that 
assisted her in her peril. I do not think there is a 
parallel instance of inhumanity in the annals of man- 
kind. She is said to be inconsolable for the death 
of Fitzgerald. I well believe it — beautiful and un- 
fortunate creature ! Well, if Ireland triumphs she shall 
have her full share of the victory and of the vengeance. 
I do not see one syllable about the North, which 
astonishes me more than I can express. Are they 
afraid ? Have they changed their opinions ? What 
can be the cause of their passive submission, at this 
moment, so little suited to their former zeal and 
energy ? I remember what Digges said to Russell 
283 



THE REBELLION [1798 

and me five or six years ago : "If ever the South 
is roused I would rather have one Southern than 
twenty Northerns/' Diggcs was a man of great 
sense and observation. He was an American, and 
had no local or provincial prejudices. Was he 
right in his opinion ? A very little time will let 
us see. If it should prove so, what a mortification 
to me, who have so long looked up with admiration 
to the North, and especially to Belfast ! * 

June 20th to 30th. Having determined to set off 
for Paris, in consequence of the late news from 
Ireland, I got leave of absence for a fortnight from 
General Kilmaine. My Adjoint, Citizen Favory, 
called on me the next morning after my arrival 
to inform me that the Minister of War had dis- 
patched an order for me to come to Paris in all 
haste. I waited upon him in consequence. He told 
me it was the Minister of Marine who had de- 
manded me, and gave me at the same time a letter 
of introduction for him. 

* For the reasons of the tranquillity of the North in 1798 
see Lecky, vol. iv. page 403 following. He adduces, as reasons, 
the rise of Orangeism ; a long period of Martial Law ; great 
severity (one man was condemned to eight hundred lashes and 
received two hundred before implicating another culprit) ; 
above all, a change of sentiment on finding that the Rebellion 
in the South was one of lawless mobs, and conducted in the 
spirit of a religious anti-Protestant war ; that the French were 
lax and inefficient in the matter of support ; that Republicanism 
was becoming imperialistic and tyrannical — in Genoa, Holland, 
Venice, Switzerland, and towards the United States. Antrim 
and Down, however, did rise, and there the revolt was sup- 
pressed with the usual brutality. 

284 



XIX 
A LETTER FROM BREST* 

"ARM£E FRANQAISE. ERIN GO BRAGH. 

"LIBERTE. £GALITE. 

" Headquarters at Brest, 
" 27 Thermidor. 
" Dearest Love, 

" This day at twelve o'clock we embark, 
but I do not yet know when we shall put to sea ; 
probably it will not be long. 

" I send you by the Diligence, which leaves this, 
the 29th, a packet containing copies of all papers, 
etc., some of which remain since our last expedition. 
You will likewise find one or two coins enclosed 
for the Bab. You will give a copy of each to 
Giange, who has never written me one line. I write 
to him, however, by this post ; he will, of course, 
show you my letters. Your packet ought to arrive 
the 5 or 6 Fructidor. 

* The headings in this letter are printed. It is taken, by kind 
permission, from Dr. Richard Hayes' interesting book, Irish 
Swordsmen of France, where it was originally printed for the 
first time. The giving of his last five guineas to his Irish fol- 
lowers is a touching and characteristic gesture from Tone. 

Giange is the young Swiss who married Tone's sister Mary 
in 1797 ; see, for reference, page 208 of this edition. 
285 




WILLIAM TONE [1789 

" Touching money matters, I have not yet 
received a sous, and last night I was obliged to give 
my last five guineas to our Countrymen here. I 
can shift better than they can ; I hope to receive a 
month's pay to-day, but it will not be possible to 
remit you any part of it. You must therefore 
carry on the war as you can for three or four 
months, and before this is out we will see further ; 
I write (in French) to Giange on that head. I am 
mortified at not being able to send you a remittance, 
but you know it is not my fault. 

"We embark about 3,000 men, with 12 pieces 
of artillery, and I judge about 20,000 stand of arms ; 
we are enough, I think, to do the business, if we 
arrive safe. 

" With regard to myself personally, I have every 
reason to be satisfied ; I stand fair with the General 
and my camarades. I am in excellent health and 
spirits, I have great confidence in the success of our 
enterprise, and, come what come may, at least I 
will do what is right. 

" The time is so short that I must finish this. I 
will, if possible, write to you again, but, if we should 
unexpectedly sail, my next will be, I hope, from 
Ireland. Adieu, my dearest Life and Soul ; kiss 
my babies for me always. I doat upon you all. 

" Yours ever and most truly, 

" T. Wolfe Tone." 



286 



XX 

WOLFE TONE'S LAST ADVENTURE: 
HIS SON'S ACCOUNT 

[From this point the narrative is taken up by 
Wolfe Tone's eldest son, William Theobald Wolfe 
Tone (1791-1828), who served in the French army 
from 1 8 13 to the Restoration, and then in the 
American army. 

/ Wolfe Tone's diaries were written primarily 
\ to give pleasure to his wife ; he continued to keep 
them after she rejoined him in France — even when 
they were together in Paris — though much less 
.fully than in 1796. After this return to Paris he 
Abandons them. 

^This summer he was busy with Humbert's 
expedition, which sailed on August 6th with his 
brother Matthew, Teeling, and Sullivan, Madgett's 
nephew. Teeling and Matthew Tone were taken 
and hanged. Sullivan escaped in disguise to France. 
Napper Tandy and a body of United Irishmen 
sailed in a separate vessel, touched on Rathlin 
Island, heard of the defeat of Humbert, and went 
on to Norway. 

287 




WILLIAM TONE [1798 

The Directory, uninformed of Humbert's defeat, 
then dispatched a tiny fleet of one sail of the line 
and eight frigates, under Bompart and General 
Hardy, with what fortune William Tone here 
records. — S. O'F.] 

At length, about the 20th of September, 1798, 
that fatal expedition set sail from the Bay of 
Cameret. It consisted of the Hoche (74), Loire, 
Resolue, Bellone, Coquille, Embuscade, Immortalite, 
Romaine, and Semillante, frigates ; and Biche, 
schooner, and aviso. To avoid the British fleets, 
Bompart, an excellent seaman, took a large sweep 
to the westward, and then to the north-east, in order 
to bear down on the northern coast of Ireland, from 
the quarter whence a French force would be least 
expected. He met, however, with contrary winds, 
and it appears that his flotilla was scattered ; for, 
on the 10th of October, after twenty days' cruise, 
he arrived off the entry of Loch Swilly, with the 
Hoche, the Loire, the Resolue, and the Biche. He 
was instantly signalled, and on the break of day 
next morning, nth of October, before he could 
enter the bay or land his troops, he perceived the 
squadron of Sir John Borlase Warren,* consisting 
of six sail of the line, one razee of sixty guns, and 
two frigates bearing down upon him. There was 

* Sir John Borlase Warren (1753-1822). Some men rise by 
the downfall of others — this engagement added greatly to the 
reputation of Warren. He did not become an admiral, how- 
ever, until 1 8 10. 

288 



1798] THE BATTLE OF LOUGH SWILLY 

no chance of escape for the large and heavy man- 
of-war. Bompart gave instant signals to the frigates 
and schooner to retreat through shallow water, and 
prepared alone to honour the flag of his country 
and liberty by a desperate but hopeless defence. At 
that moment a boat came from the Biche, for his 
last orders. That ship had the best chance to get 
off. The French officers all supplicated my father 
to embark on board of her. " Our contest is 
hopeless," they observed ; " we will be prisoners 
of war ; but what will become of you ? " " Shall 
it be said," replied he, " that I fled whilst the 
French were fighting the battles of my country ? " 
He refused their offers, and determined to stand 
and fall with the ship. The Biche accomplished 
her escape ; and I see it mentioned in late publica- 
tions that other Irishmen availed themselves of that 
occasion. This fact is incorrect — not one of them 
would have done so ; and besides, my father was 
the only Irishman on board the Hoche. 

The British Admiral dispatched two men-of-war, 
the razee, and a frigate after the Loire and Resolue, 
and the Hoche was soon surrounded by four sail of 
the line and a frigate, and began one of the most 
obstinate and desperate engagements which have 
ever been fought on the ocean. During six hours 
she sustained the fire of a whole fleet, till her masts 
and rigging were swept away, her scuppers flowed 
with blood, her wounded filled the cock-pit, her 
shattered ribs yawned at each new stroke and let 

(4,409) 2 g 9 2I 



WILLIAM TONE [1798 

in five feet of water in the hold, her rudder was 
carried off, and she floated a dismantled wreck on 
the waters ; her sails and cordage hung in shreds, 
nor could she reply with a single gun from her 
dismounted batteries to the unabating cannonade 
of the enemy. At length she struck. The Resolue 
and Loire were soon reached by the English fleet ; 
the former was in a sinking condition ; she made, 
however, an honourable defence. The Loire 
sustained three attacks, drove off the English 
frigates, and had almost effected her escape ; at 
length, engaged by the Anson, razee of sixty guns, 
she struck, after an action of three hours, entirely 
dismasted. Of the other frigates, pursued in all 
directions, the Bellone, Immortalite, Coquille, and 
Embuscade were taken, and the Romaine and Semil- 
lante, through a thousand dangers, reached separate 
ports in France. 

During the action my father commanded one of 
the batteries, and, according to the report of the 
officers who returned to France, fought with the 
utmost desperation, and as if he was courting death. 
When the ship struck, confounded with the other 
officers, he was not recognized for some time, for 
he had completely acquired the language and 
appearance of a Frenchman. The two fleets were 
dispersed in every direction ; nor was it till some 
days later that the Hoche was brought into Loch 
Swilly, and the prisoners landed and marched to 
Letterkenny. Yet rumours of his being on board 
290 



1798] TONE A PRISONER 

must have been circulated, for the fact was public 
at Paris. But it was thought he had been killed 
in the action ; and I am willing to believe that the 
British officers, respecting the valour of a fallen 
enemy, were not earnest in investigating the point. 
It was at length a gentleman well known in the 
county Derry as a leader of the Orange party, and 
one of the chief magistrates in that neighbourhood, 
Sir George Hill, who had been his fellow-student 
in Trinity College and knew his person, who 
undertook the task of discovering him. It is known 
that in Spain grandees and noblemen of the first 
rank pride themselves in the functions of familiars, 
spies, and informers of the Holy Inquisition ; it 
remained for Ireland to offer a similar example. 
The French officers were invited to breakfast with 
the Earl of Cavan, who commanded in that district. 
My father sat undistinguished amongst them, when 
Sir George Hill* entered the room, followed by 
police officers. Looking narrowly at the company, 

* Hill's account is different. See his letter to Ed. Cooke, 
Dublin Castle, from Buncrana, Nov. 8, headed " 12 o'clock." 

"My Dear Cooke, 

" Such has been the stormy weather that for two days 
no boat has been ashore from La Hoche. This morning some 
hundreds of the prisoners are just landed. The first man who 
stepped out of the boat, habited as an officer, was T. W. Tone. 
He recognized me and addressed me instantly with as much 
sang-froid as you might expect from his character. . . . 

" Yrs., etc. 

" G. F. Hill. 
" P.S. — Tone is sent off to Derry under a strong escort." 
(See final footnotes.) 

291 



WILLIAM TONE [1798 

he singled out the object of his search, and, stepping 
up to him, said, " Mr. Tone, I am very happy to see 
you." Instantly rising, with the utmost com- 
posure, and disdaining all useless attempts at con- 
cealment, my father replied, " Sir George, I am 
happy to see you ; how are Lady Hill and your 
family ? " Beckoned into the next room by the 
police officers, an unexpected indignity awaited him. 
It was filled with military, and one General Lavau, 
who commanded them, ordered him to be ironed, 
declaring that, as on leaving Ireland to enter the 
French service he had not renounced his oath of 
allegiance, he remained a subject of Britain, and 
should be punished as a traitor. Seized with a 
momentary burst of indignation at such unworthy 
treatment and cowardly cruelty to a prisoner of 
war, he flung off his uniform, and cried, " These 
fetters shall never degrade the revered insignia 
of the free nation which I have served." Resuming 
then his usual calm, he offered his limbs to the irons, 
and when they were fixed he exclaimed, " For the 
cause which I have embraced, I feel prouder to 
wear these chains than if I were decorated with the 
star and garter of England." The friends of Lord 
Cavan have asserted that this extreme, and, I will 
add, unmanly and ungenerous severity, was provoked 
by his outrageous behaviour when he found he 
was not to have the privileges of a prisoner of war. 
This supposition is not only contradicted by the 
whole tenor of his character and his subsequent 
292 



1798] SPEECH FROM THE DOCK 

deportment, but no other instances of it have ever 
been specified than those noble replies to the taunts 
of General Lavau. 

From Letterkenny he was hurried to Dublin 
without delay, fettered and on horseback, under an 
escort of dragoons. During this journey the un- 
ruffled serenity of his countenance, amidst the 
rude soldiery, and under the awe-struck gaze of his 
countrymen, excited universal admiration. Re- 
cognizing in a group of females, which thronged 
the windows, a young lady of his acquaintance : 
" There," said he, " is my old friend Miss Beresford ; 
how well she looks ! " On his arrival he was im- 
mured in the Provost's prison, in the barracks of 
Dublin, under the charge of the notorious Major 
Sandys, a man whose insolence, rapacity, and 
cruelty will long be remembered in that city, 
where, a worthy instrument of the faction which 
then ruled it, he enjoyed, under their patronage, 
a despotic authority within its precincts. 

Though the Court of King's Bench was then 
sitting, preparations were instantly made for trying 
him summarily before a court-martial. 

The time of my father's trial was deferred a few 
days, by the officers appointed to sit on the court- 
martial receiving marching orders. At length, 
on Saturday, November 10, 1798, a new court was 
assembled, consisting of General Loftus, who per- 
formed the functions of President, Colonels Van- 
deleur, Daly, and Wolfe, Major Armstrong, and 
293 



WILLIAM TONE [179S 

a Captain Curran ; Mr. Paterson performed the 
functions of Judge Advocate. 

The Court then observed that they would hear 
his address, provided he confined himself within 
the bounds of moderation. He rose, and began in 
these words : 

" Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Court- 
Martial, — I mean not to give you the trouble of 
bringing judicial proof to convict me, legally, of 
having acted in hostility to the Government of his 
Britannic Majesty in Ireland. I admit the fact. 
From my earliest youth I have regarded the con- 
nection between Ireland and Great Britain as the 
curse of the Irish nation, and felt convinced that, 
whilst it lasted, this country could never be free nor 
happy. My mind has been confirmed in this 
opinion by the experience of every succeeding year, 
and the conclusions which I have drawn from every 
fact before my eyes. In consequence, I determined 
to apply all the powers, which my individual efforts 
could move, in order to separate the two countries. 

" That Ireland was not able, of herself, to throw 
off the yoke, I knew. I therefore sought for aid 
wherever it was to be found. In honourable 
poverty I rejected offers, which, to a man in my cir- 
cumstances, might be considered highly advan- 
tageous. I remained faithful to what I thought the 
cause of my country, and sought in the French 
Republic an ally to rescue three millions of my 
countrymen from ..." 

294 



1798] "I NEED NO JUSTIFICATION" 

Gen. Loftus. " That seems to have nothing to 
say to the charge against you, to which only you 
are to speak. If you have anything to offer in 
defence or extenuation of that charge the Court 
will hear you ; but they beg that you will confine 
yourself to that subject. ,, 

Tone. " I shall, then, confine myself to some 
points relative to my connection with the French 
army. Attached to no party in the French Republic, 
without interest, without money, without intrigue, 
the openness and integrity of my views raised me 
to a high and confidential rank in its armies. I 
obtained the confidence of the Executive Directory, 
the approbation of my Generals, and I venture to 
add the esteem and affection of my brave comrades. 
When I review these circumstances I feel a secret 
and internal consolation which no reverse of for- 
tune, no sentence in the power of this Court to 
inflict, can ever deprive me of or weaken in any 
degree. Under the flag of the French Republic 
I originally engaged with a view to save and 
liberate my own country. For that purpose I have 
encountered the chances of war amongst strangers : 
for that purpose I have repeatedly braved the terrors 
of the ocean, covered, as I knew it to be, with the 
triumphant fleets of that Power which it was my 
glory and my duty to oppose. I have sacrificed all 
my views in life ; I have courted poverty ; I have 
left a beloved wife unprotected, and children whom 
I adored, fatherless. After such sacrifices, in a cause 
295 



WILLIAM TONE [1798 

which I have always conscientiously considered as 
the cause of justice and freedom — it is no great 
effort, at this day, to add, ' the sacrifice of my life/ 

" But I hear it said that this unfortunate country- 
has been a prey to all sorts of horrors. I sincerely 
lament it. I beg, however, it may be remembered 
that I have been absent four years from Ireland. 
To me these sufferings can never be attributed. I 
designed by fair and open war, to procure the 
separation of the two countries. For open war I 
was prepared ; but if, instead of that, a system of 
private assassination has taken place, I repeat, whilst 
I deplore it, that it is not chargeable on me. Atroci- 
ties, it seems, have been committed on both sides. 
I do not less deplore them ; I detest them from my 
heart ; and to those who know my character and 
sentiments, I may safely appeal for the truth of this 
assertion. With them I need no justification. 

" In a cause like this, success is everything. Suc- 
cess in the eyes of the vulgar fixes its merits. 
Washington succeeded, and Kosciusko failed. 

" After a combat nobly sustained, a combat 
which would have excited the respect and sympathy 
of a generous enemy, my fate was to become a 
prisoner. To the eternal disgrace of those who gave 
the order, I was brought hither in irons like a felon. 
I mention this for the sake of others ; for me I am 
indifferent to it ; I am aware of the fate which 
awaits me, and scorn equally the tone of complaint 
and that of supplication. 

296 



1798) TONE MAKES ONE PLEA 

"As to the connection between this country 
and Great Britain, I repeat it, all that has been 
imputed to me — words, writings, and actions — I 
here deliberately avow. I have spoken and acted 
with reflection and on principle, and am ready to 
meet the consequences. Whatever be the sentence 
of this Court I am prepared for it. Its members 
will surely discharge their duty ; I shall take care 
not to be wanting to mine." * 

This speech was pronounced in a tone so mag- 
nanimous, so full of a noble and calm serenity as 
seemed deeply and visibly to affect all its hearers, 
the members of the Court not excepted. A pause 
ensued of some continuance, and silence reigned 

* Tone's address is here taken by the son from the newspapers 
of the day, all financed by Dublin Castle ; these printed only 
what he was allowed to say. An undelivered portion of his 
prepared address, referring to the Catholics, went as follows : 

I have laboured in consequence to create a people in Ireland, 
by raising three millions of my Countrymen to the rank of 
citizens. I have laboured to abolish the infernal spirit of religious 
persecution by uniting the Catholics and Dissenters. To the 
former I owe more than can ever be repaid ; the services I was 
so fortunate as to render them they rewarded munificently. 
But they did more. When the public cry was raised against me, 
when the friends of my youth swarmed off and left me alone, 
the Catholics did not desert me — they had the virtue even to 
sacrifice their own interests to a rigid principle of honour. 
They refused, though strongly urged, to disgrace a man, who, 
whatever his conduct towards the Government might have been, 
faithfully and conscientiously discharged his duty towards them : 
and in so doing, though it was in my own case, I will say that 
they showed an instance of public virtue and honour, of I know 
not whether there exists another example." 

(See Comwallis Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 435. And see article 
by Dr. Richard Hayes, in The Irish Press, June 20, 1932.) 
297 



WILLIAM TONE [1798 

in the hall till interrupted by Tone himself, who 
inquired whether it was not usual to assign an 
interval between the sentence and execution ? 
The Judge Advocate answered, that the voices of 
the Court would be collected without delay, and 
the result transmitted forthwith to the Lord 
Lieutenant. If the prisoner therefore had any 
further observations to make, now was the moment. 

Tone. " I wish to offer a few words relative to 
one single point — to the mode of punishment. 
In France, our Emigres, who stand nearly in the 
same situation in which I suppose I now stand 
before you, are condemned to be shot. I ask that 
the Court should adjudge me the death of a soldier, 
and let me be shot by a platoon of grenadiers. 
I request this indulgence, rather in consideration of 
the uniform which I wear, the uniform of a Chef 
de Brigade in the French army, than from any 
personal regard to myself. In order to evince my 
claim to this favour, I beg that the Court may take 
the trouble to peruse my commission and letters 
of service in the French army. It will appear from 
these papers that I have not received them as a 
mask to cover me, but that I have been long and 
bona fide an officer in the French service." 

Judge Advocate. ' ' You must feel that the papers you 
allude to will serve as undeniable proofs against you." 

Tone. " Oh ! — I know it well — I have already 
admitted the facts, and I now admit the papers as 
full proofs of conviction." 
298 



1798] TONE MAKES ONE PLEA 

The papers were then examined : they consisted 
of a brevet of Chef de Brigade from the Directory, 
signed by the Minister of War, of a letter of service, 
granting to him the rank of Adjutant-General, and 
of a passport. 

General Loftus. " In those papers you are desig- 
nated as serving in the army of England." 

Tone. " I did serve in that army when it was 
commanded by Buonaparte, by Desaix, and by 
Kilmaine, who is, as I am, an Irishman. But I have 
also served elsewhere." 

Requested if he had anything further to 
observe, he said that nothing more occurred to 
him, except that the sooner his Excellency's 
approbation of their sentence was obtained the 
better. He would consider it as a favour if it 
could be obtained in an hour. 

My father was sentenced to die the death of 
a traitor in forty-eight hours, on the 12th of 
November.* 

* A contemporary document in T. CD. gives the following 
as the sentence of the Court Martial : " The Court Martial do 
find the prisoner, Theobald Wolfe Tone, guilty of the crimes 
alleged against him, and do therefore adjudge him to be hanged, 
his head to be struck off, fixed on a Pike, and placed in the most 
conspicuous part of this city. William Loftus, Maj .-General." 



299 



XXI 

THE END 

I must collect my strength to give the remaining 
details of the close of my father's life. The secrets 
of a State prison, and of such a prison as were those 
of Dublin at that period, are seldom penetrated, 
and the facts which have reached us are few and 
meagre. As soon as he learned the refusal of his 
last request, his determination was taken, with the 
same resolution and coolness which he exhibited 
during the whole transaction. In order to spare 
the feelings of his parents and friends, he refused 
to see any one and requested only the use of writing 
materials. During the ioth and nth of November 
he addressed the Directory, the Minister of Marine, 
General Kilmaine, and Mr. Shee, in France, and 
several of his friends in Ireland, to recommend his 
family to their care. I here insert a translation of 
his letter to the Directory, the only one of which we 
obtained a copy. 



300 



1798] THE END 

" From the Provost's Prison, Dublin, 
" 20th Brumaire, jth year of the Republic, 
" (November 10, 1798.) 

" The Adjutant-General Theobald Wolfe Tone (called 
Smith), to the Executive Directory of the 
French Republic. 

" Citizen Directors, — The English Govern- 
ment having determined not to respect my rights 
as a French citizen and officer, and summoned me 
before a court-martial, I have been sentenced to 
death. In those circumstances I request you to 
accept my thanks for the confidence with which 
you have honoured me, and which, in a moment 
like this, I venture to say I well deserved. I have 
served the Republic faithfully, and my death, as 
well as that of my brother, a victim like myself, 
and condemned in the same manner about a month 
ago, will sufficiently prove it. I hope the circum- 
stances in which I stand will warrant me, Citizen 
Directors, in supplicating you to consider the fate 
of a virtuous wife and of three infant children, 
who had no other support, and, in losing me, will 
be reduced to the extreme of misery. I venture 
on such an occasion to recall to your remembrance 
that I was expelled from my own country in con- 
sequence of my attempts to serve the Republic ; 
that, on the invitation of the French Government, 
301 



WILLIAM TONE [1798 

I came to France ; that ever since I had the honour 
to enter the French service, I have faithfully, and 
with the approbation of all my chiefs, performed 
my duty ; finally, that I have sacrificed for the 
Republic all that man holds dearest — my wife, 
my children, my liberty, my life. In these circum- 
stances I confidently call on your justice and human- 
ity in favour of my family, assured that you will 
not abandon them. It is the greatest consolation 
which remains to me in dying, 
" Health and respect, 

" T. W. Tone (called Smith), 

" Adjutant-General" 

He then, with a firm hand and heart, penned the 
two following letters to my mother : 

" Provost Prison — Dublin Barracks, 

" Le 20 Brumaire, an 7 (10th Nov.), 1798. 

" Dearest Love, — The hour is at last come when 
we must part. As no words can express what I feel 
for you and our children, I shall not attempt it ; 
complaint of any kind would be beneath your 
courage and mine ; be assured I will die as I have 
lived, and that you will have no cause to blush for 
me. 

" I have written on your behalf to the French 
Government, to the Minister of Marine, to General 
Kilmaine, and to Mr. Shee ; with the latter I wish 
302 



1798] TO HIS WIFE 

you especially to advise. In Ireland I have written 
to your brother Harry, and to those of my friends 
who are about to go into exile, and who, I am sure, 
will not abandon you. 

" Adieu, dearest love : I find it impossible to 
finish this letter. Give my love to Mary ; and, 
above all things, remember that you are now the 
only parent of our dearest children, and that the 
best proof you can give of your affection for me 
will be to preserve yourself for their education. 
God Almighty bless you all. 

" Yours ever, 

" T. W. Tone. 

" P.S. — I think you have found a friend in 
Wilson, who will not desert you." 



Second Letter. 

" Dearest Love, — I write just one line to acquaint 
you that I have received assurances from your 
brother Edward of his determination to render 
every assistance and protection in his power ; for 
which I have written to thank him most sincerely. 
Your sister has likewise sent me assurances of the 
same nature, and expressed a desire to see me, which 
I have refused, having determined to speak to no one 
of my friends, not even my father, from motives of 
humanity to them and myself. It is a very great 
303 



WILLIAM TONE [1798 

consolation to me that your family are determined 
to support you ; as to the manner of that assistance, 
I leave it to their affection for you, and your own 
excellent good sense, to settle what manner will 
be most respectable for all parties. 

" Adieu, dearest love. Keep your courage, as 
I have kept mine ; my mind is as tranquil this 
moment as at any period of my life. Cherish my 
memory ; and especially preserve your health and 
spirits for the sake of our dearest children. 
" Your ever affectionate, 

" T. Wolfe Tone * 

" nth November, 1798." 

It is said that on the evening of that very day he 
could see and hear the soldiers erecting the gallows 
for him before his windows. That very night, 

* On the same day that he wrote these last two letters to his 
wife, he wrote as follows to General Kilmaine : 

" Provost's Prison, 

" 20 Bmmaire, an 7. 
"Dear General, 

" Before this reaches you I shall be no more. You 
are doubtless already aware of the fate of our expedition, which 
has brought on mine. I write now, relying on you as a friend 
and countryman to assist and protect my wife and children by 
supporting in their interest a Memorial which I have addressed 
in their favour to the Minister of Marine, to request his inter- 
ference, as my family, in losing me lose their only support. The 
shortness of the time prevents my saying more, but I think I 
know you enough to be satisfied that I have said is sufficient. 
" I am, dear General, with great respect, 

" Your most obed. servt., 
" T. Wolfe Tone, dit Smith, Adj. -Gen:* 

304 



X798J DEATH 

according to the report given by his jailers, having 
secreted a penknife, he inflicted a deep wound 
across his neck. It was soon discovered by the 
sentry, and a surgeon called in at four o'clock in 
the morning, who stopped the blood and closed it. 
He reported, that as the prisoner had missed the 
carotid artery, he might yet survive, but was in the 
extremest danger. It is said that he murmured 
only in reply, " I am sorry I have been so bad 
an anatomist." Let me draw a veil over the re- 
mainder of this scene. 

Stretched on his bloody pallet in a dungeon, the 
first apostle of Irish union, and most illustrious 
martyr of Irish independence, counted each linger- 
ing hour during the last seven days and nights of 
his slow and silent agony. No one was allowed to 
approach him. Far from his adored family, and 
from all those friends whom he loved so dearly, 
the only forms which flitted before his eyes were 
those of the grim jailer and rough attendants of 
the prison ; the only sounds which fell on his 
dying ear, the heavy tread of the sentry. He 
retained, however, the calmness of his soul and the 
possession of his faculties to the last. And the 
consciousness of dying for his country, and in the 
cause of justice and liberty, illuirdnecCnke a bright 
halo, his latest moments, and kept up his fortitude 
to the end. There is no situation under which those 
feelings will not support the soul of a patriot. 
On the morning of the 19th of November he 
(4.409) 305 22 



THE END [1798 

was seized with the spasms of approaching death. 
It is said that the surgeon who attended, whispered 
that if he attempted to move or speak he must 
expire instantly ; that he overheard him, and, 
making a slight movement, replied, " I can yet 
find words to thank you, sir ; it is the most welcome 
news you could give me. What should I wish to 
live for ? " Falling back, with these expressions 
on his lips, he expired without further effort. 



306 






These extracts are taken from contemporary letters : Lord 
Cavan to Ed. Cooke, Dublin Castle. Derry, Nov. 7, 1798. " I 
hope you will be amused with Tone, and that he will amuse 
Dublin by his execution. He wrote me an impudent letter, 
I thought, for a man in his situation. . . ." Sir G. F. Hill to 
Cooke. Same date. " Tone's trunk is sent off to you this 
evening by the Derry coach. There is a bag with 240 French 
Crowns in it, his uniform, and clothes. Keep the cap and 
uniform for your museum. . . ." Hill to Cooke. Derry, 
Nov. 15, 1798. " I have red. an accurate note of all which 
passed in King's Bench on Curran's motion re Tone. The 
business has been bitched. The authority of Parliament, the 
actual existence of Rebellion and Invasion should have induced 
a refusal to obey the King's Bench, and execution ought to 
have taken place. I would have sewed up his neck and finished 
the business. . . ." 

The originals are in the Irish State Papers Office at Dublin 
Castle. 



307 



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